Whispers In Jars


I save things in jars with lids so they won’t get dusty.

Rocks and shells found on glorious outings on Yom Kippur

With my three year old at the Laguna tide pools so he might learn

That God doesn’t live in a shul (synagogue)

where they charge you to pray

and ask you to atone –

all in the same afternoon.

Along Pacific Coast Highway where the road almost touches the water,

we fill buckets with sand,

sit still on rocks uttering Sh’ma Yis’ra’eil

Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad;

Where laughing children throw bread in the air for the gulls.

My son’s tiny hands touch squiggly moving creatures in shallow pools

Waves crashing over smooth rocks

creating rings that can’t escape.

Laughter can’t be saved in jars,

So I save notes with words found in fortune cookies

Like those left at the Western Wall in Jerusalem

During my year of fearlessness

After Golda Meir and before Women’s Lib and motherhood.

There are dotted rock hearts in my jars from the Women’s Collective in Kenya.

A shell from Madagascar, so long in the making

the sand it contained turned to rock.

Silver heart bottles filled with sand from Masada’s floors

lost by courageous women whose only wish was freedom.

Though diamonds may be some girls’ best friend,

I gently place another treasure in another jar in another room

with the lid on –

so it won’t get dusty.


All rights reserved.  ©2015 by Sara Fryd