The Wanderer

When you have come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, and you possess it, and settle in it, you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from the land that the LORD your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place that the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for his name. You shall go to the priest who is in office at that time, and say to him, "Today I declare to the LORD your God that I have come into the land that the LORD swore to our ancestors to give us." When the priest takes the basket from your hand and sets it down before the altar of the LORD your God, you shall make this response before the LORD your God: "A wandering Aramean was my ancestor; he went down into Egypt and lived there as an alien, few in number, and there he became a great nation, mighty and populous. When the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, by imposing hard labor on us, we cried to the LORD, the God of our ancestors; the LORD heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. The LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with a terrifying display of power, and with signs and wonders; and he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. So now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground that you, O LORD, have given me." You shall set it down before the LORD your God and bow down before the LORD your God. Then you, together with the Levites and the aliens who reside among you, shall celebrate with all the bounty that the LORD your God has given to you and to your house.
- Deuteronomy 26:1-11

From Aramea to Los Angeles to San Antonio
he wandered until something said get landed

he bought a condo once in Manhattan at 84th
but locked the door one day and walked away for good

settled down in Indiana for a spell on the prairie
but got the itch to hitchhike down the wildflower highway

got married and had his sons and thought
that meant they all had to be rooted like old vines

read one day that his grandfather never owned land
and they told legends about his messy masculine life

heard his father say that his worst year of life
was 1954 when he mortgaged his unfettered joy

chanted in liturgy on Sunday that all his faith ancestors
were wanderers the likes of Abraham and Sarah

walked the via crucis in one holy week and found
his feet less stuck to the clay earth below


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me as I prepare for this Thanksgiving Sunday. I am pastor of Weimar United Church of Christ (we were German Lutherans when we began in 1900) which is about 70 miles from Austin. My blog can be found at: Many blessings.


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