The Covenant: A Poem by Marie Syrkin


The Covenant
~ Marie Syrkin

My God has pledged to me a bitter love.
His Hand is on me; I cannot forget.
I hold the key but everywhere I move
the ghetto walls slide close around me yet.
I know no psalms. The synagogue is dust.
The worshippers’ thin voices fade away.
And yet how often to my knees I’m thrust,
I who do not believe forever pray.
Swine’s flesh I’ve eaten and my faith have broken,
and He, great God, has broken faith with me,
yet not in vain the words of awe were spoken,
the bond remains, unwilling though I be,
and when my mind cries, “Stop, there is no need,”
my blood remembers it is Abraham’s seed.

Marie Syrkin (March 23, 1899 – February 2, 1989) was an American author, translator, educator, and Zionist activist.

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