Poetica Magazine

Poetica Magazine


We Take On 
(The Aleinu)

by Michael Getty

We take on

the pedestals

their forges

What we put on them

the greats and greatnesses

the origin stories

that made us not this, not that

the backs that worked the land

the pouring out of life across the soil


When the time came for

You get this, you get that

We were somewhere else

Prowess, they were told

Glory, they were told

And we watched the bowing down

the emptying of hollows


Or picture this --

the lion, limbs spread out

eyes half-closed

the gazelle that trusts

bends down to drink

unsure of anything except that it’s time

time to bow low, to be humble and safe

for now

for whatever is


Now comes the trippy part

In sight of the king reads the prayer

(they had queens then too)

the sovereign, then

the sovereign of sovereigns of sovereigns

sovereigns all the way up

-- what we worship

with the bended knee

like the giraffe, which has to kneel

to survive