Poem | Double Rainbow

By | Jun 29, 2020
Jessica Grenbaum

I have set My bow in the clouds, and it shall serve as a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.
—Genesis 9:13

Yesterday someone robbed me, and today,
an afternoon of rain brings a double rainbow.
Judaism has a blessing for that. Also a prayer
for keeping thieves away. We have words
for everything, even for when words don’t
work. The story says it’s a promise, this rainbow:
no more world-ending floods. If our things
are swept away, it’s going to be by our hands,
and we’ll own our losses. But what does the
second arc mean, the one with colors reversed
that hangs pale alongside? What bargain is that?
There are so many ways to destroy a world.
What I mean is, may we only lose things.
Please, may we all have enough time left.

David Ebenbach is the author of eight books of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, including a recent poetry collection, Some Unimaginable Animal, and a creativity guide, The Artist’s Torah.

3 thoughts on “Poem | Double Rainbow

  1. Kathleen Taylor says:

    Beautiful!! Thank you for this wise and lovely prayer.

  2. Gerald Lebowitz says:

    Kathleen, I agree with you. This is a poem that miraculously transcends words to become a prayer. Words get us into trouble with their divisions and keep us from coming together; they are the real thieves. What we all yearn for is the salvation given to us by the unitary vision of a rainbow. “May we only lose things,” the poet says. Amen to that.

    Thank you, Kathleen and David.

  3. Wonderful poem… I savored it down to the last line and then finally noticed the name of the author. Turned out to be a favorite author of mine! Beautiful, David.

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