What the Donkey Saw
by Rick Lupert
After a text from the Book of Numbers 22.38,
The word God puts into my mouth–that I will speak.

They come out of our mouths
and, lately, out of our fingers.

They float through the air
and travel electronically to
all places.

They barge into the eyes and ears
of other mammals, intended or

Say what you’re going to say
as if the entire world is listening.
As if every sentence you utter

Could eventually be your epitaph.
Say what you’re going to say
as if your words were arms

intended to wrap around
everyone you’ve ever loved.
Are their tents lovely?

They sure are, but how will they
ever know unless you tell them?
Tell them.

Let your words be money
your business card, your
life-sustaining breath.

Let them keep you warm or cold
depending on the weather.
Build your home with your words.

Keep the big picture in view.
You never know what’s there
that only the donkey can see.

Editor’s note: Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is celebrated during September.
Though Rick informs me that his poem is not specifically targeted for that celebration,
I was struck by its near-universal application to life.


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