Repairing the World

(Tikkun Olam: In Judaism, the idea of “repairing the world” )

I watch you gathering up the broken pieces
one by one you put them into your small backpack
filling it up almost to the point that it cannot be zipped closed.

(Somehow, though, you will make the zipper’s teeth come together
temporarily sealing them inside.)

I know that you will take the contents home
dumping them out onto the floor
sifting through to see what is there.

You might even try to fit them together, like an awkward puzzle, 
to form a new whole
but you will fail.

You will take them, though, and keep them
safely tucked away. 

And then you will go out once again, empty backpack on your shoulders
in search of the broken pieces.

I have an old bag similar to yours.  
Not a backpack and with no zipper to securely close.
It hangs in my closet, behind the outgrown winter coats 
and the toolbox with the broken hinge. 
I have not used it in quite some time and for that I am grateful.

I want to ask you about your quest, this searching that you do.

Are you looking for something in particular? 
Do you ever hope to find something valuable?
Are there pieces that you leave behind, things that will stay lost in perpetuity?

I want to ask… 
But I don’t.  I just watch and wait for you to notice me watching.
But you don’t. 

4 thoughts on “Repairing the World

  1. Sorry…I so love the image here of the gathering child and the spirit of making things come together out of what has been broken. And that you watch unseen. It is enough to be doing that gathering, that hoping.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s much to contemplate in this poem. The act of gathering, sorting, piecing together can apply to so many aspects of life. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

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