Backyard Prayer (Covid-19)

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Akiva Shapiro


The sun rising over fenceposts 
Dapples our masked faces 
Through tangled lilac blooms 

In the void left by hushed prayers 
Cicadas chirp in rhythm 
Interspersed with birdsong 

Like leaves in morning breeze
We sway, our words tracing 
A serpentine path; vines o’er oak 

Folding chairs set in grass 
Sink into dew-damp earth 
And betray life’s evanescence

Akiva Shapiro is a constitutional and commercial litigator who, when not in court, tries his hand at teaching and writing. He has degrees in Ancient Judaism (M.A., Yale) and Medieval Jewish History (B.A., Columbia), as well as law (J.D., Columbia), and studied for three years at Yeshivat Sha’arei Mevaseret Zion, near Jerusalem. He returns to Israel as often as he can.