— Jen Stein
This year, on the seder plate
instead of the bloodied shank bone
we place a cluster of sweet grapes
which serve as a symbol of fertility,
of new life and abundance.
We choose this, life, and not death:
for before us is set life and death
the blessing and the curse.
Therefore, we choose life
that we may invite not only Elijah
but the spring into our homes,
that we may set an example
of compassion and of love
for the things of His kingdom,
the new fleeced lambs in the fields
whose nurse from their dams
while overhead the winds that pass
bring the snowstars of pollen,
spreading over the land by wind and,
soon, by bee. Proliferation of
new things to delight and teach the old.
Adonai, hu ha-Elohim,
and in Your wisdom You have given us
the Sabbath, the Pesach seder,
the oaks and the pollen, the pink crab
apple blooms that drift, the sting and the honey,
the grapes and the newborn lambs.