Two Poems by Lee Landau

Hyperbole Wraps the Sun
Low tides dance around her thighs
last quarter mile, her feet
trod beach into white talc of sand.
A rambunctious terrier tries to bury her
sifted, coated floury sand
bakes her well done. Sand crabs
skitter to the shoreline,
Headed back toward the Atlantic,
she’s now wrapped in waves
again, to the splutter of an old motor,
its noise waffling intermittently
the runnels of water collect
and violently part
around her, she hugs the raft, no
paddle, fights and fights hard
to return home
with no engine. Her arms try to
sweep aside the ocean current, but
too much undertow drags her down
off course for lower tides as
she gambles on a downdrift
nearby. Rescuers
will find her body
from the riptides, bruised
skin shorn
by rock and jetty,
festooned in seaweed.
Me and Lloyd
on his second-hand hog
two joints trashed us, then time
to arrive at Shul only one hour late
for Yom Kippur holiday, Day
of Atonement, big time service.
Everyone searching for sins looks to
forgiveness, except for heathens like us.
We enter sanctuary foolish, loose,
Laugh away regrets to looks of censure.
We giggle embarrassed under the influence,
daring anyone to call us out.
In the pew I drop the prayer book, too many
folks eying us.  This bitchin’ service,
six hours long. Lloyd sleeps the day away.
Instead of standing to daven, his snores
reach God’s ear. I stare and laugh again.
No plagues rain down on us.
No sign of a personal god anywhere—
Adonai, Jesus, Allah, Buddha
No sign, not even a reception signal.
One thousand voices chant as
hyperbole wraps around the sun
and its planets with strings knotted
side by side, among one thousand
fringed, prayer shawls.
Lee Landau’s work has appeared in Wisconsin Review, New Millennium Writings,
Common Ground and blue stockings magazine, part of Brown University to name a few.

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