These poems are from a series on slicha (forgiveness) and geulah (redemption) by poet Julia Knobloch.
Click here for the companion pieces on geulah .
I stand before you in brokenness and tenderness
You say I don’t have dignity
I don’t agree but have done wrong
With you I
the same mistakes
let bitterness prevail
over my sense of justice
I have seen my lines dry out for years
I wanted to be held all but one night
feel loved although I didn’t ask for you to love me
It was too much to ask
There is no “too” before undignified
I made you want to leave
resentful and withdrawn
for shouting at you what others should have heard
I wish you could assume responsibility
for my confusion
about the pain to not be chosen
to be already old
that you, too, thought you deserved better
that you, too, left
knowing too much of how I felt
without defining where you were at, and how
You spoke in riddles and in silence
withheld what you said you did not owe me
Talk to me so I can forgive you and let you go
Help me leave, help us part ways
I can’t do it by myself, I have been unloved too long
We forgive because we’re told: Choose life
Forgiveness is life
is holding both
the days of old
on the horizon
We can cut off our hand and not forget
When we forgive, we keep on writing
In the fullness of everything
was not to be
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