The ritual never varies:

We gather with the usual friends.

Soon there is that almost prurient blend

Of the secular and the sacred

When we are called back by the rough handling

Of the readings from back to front, and

By the awkward, unpracticed succession of foods

Called back to the casual pondering

Of the history of it all. 


How the plagues came,

How having killed the lamb or goat,

Having marked their doorframes with an X in blood,

How the angel, sword in hand,

Came and went, but

How the angel slid through the Egyptians’ doors, and

Smiling with self-assurance

Sought out the eldest Egyptian son, and

Did its work.


--March 25, 2013