Blessing the Wine

by Rev. Lynn Ungar

Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha'olam, borei p'ri hagafen.

Wine, like memory, full in the cup
What do you taste in the glass
I have poured you?
Years ago I went picking
grapes -- did I ever tell you?
One hot September Sunday
my friends and I staged
bacchanalian revels among
the dust and bees and heavy vines
Watched the juice of our
labors running off the wooden press
Some days I feel that liquid
running slowly through my veins
Unfiltered and impure, still
carrying its sediment of dust
and stems and old sunlight

I have been storing up
these memories for you--
racked and turned and tasted them
Grape picking and the afternoons
spent foraging for berries
along the tracks, up to our
elbows in berry juice and scratches
I know I have mixed
the earth's blood with my own
Can you taste the blood
and berries? You are holding
my history against your tongue

I want to drink with you
from the common cup
May memory gather
the fruits of all seasons
May our stories all linger
like wine on the tongue

Praised be Thou, Eternal God,
creator of the fruit of the vine.

Lynn Ungar welcomes the use of her material for personal and congregational use, provided that credit is given. Please check with the author lynnungar@gmail.com before making more than one printed copy of any of these materials.

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