Evidence of Light

by Arlyn Miller (Glencoe, IL)

Am Shalom sanctuary, early weekday morning


From the east,
the autumn morning light
sets the stained glass aglow,
aqua and amber bejeweled.
Outside, a sparrow casts
its flitting shadow against
the arched panes of colored glass.
Everywhere, there is evidence of light.


On the western wall, three windows
awash in a soft, even tone;
their encircled triptych assures:
you will voyage    home    to thrive and grow.
Pathways of penumbral hope issue
in all directions, it matters not in which you set forth –
Adonai Echod: God is one.
And even though the sun has not yet arced
across the sky, there is evidence of light.


From the bema, to the south,
the eternal light suggests ascent,
spiraling and spare as wings.
In the foreground, rows of rounded
wooden seatbacks, like crested waves,
hint at movement and a journey.
Evidence of light, eternal.


The north door is open, guarded on each side
by the names of those we love and have lost –
clouds of memory, weighted by stones.
From the long corridor of the synagogue,
the light beckons: enter the day
and its evidence of light.

Arlyn Miller is spending a year chronicling the life of her synagogue  (Am Shalom in Glencoe, IL) as its Writer in Residence.  “Evidence of Light” appears in the December 2010 issue of Am Shalom’s KOL newsletter and is reprinted here with the kind permission of the author.
A poet, essayist and journalist, Arlyn teaches creative writing in schools and in the community through Poetic License, Inc.  You can find out more about her teaching work at www.poeticlicenseinc.net.

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Filed under American Jewry, Jewish writing, poetry

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