The Judean date palm lives in Ketura.
After 2,000 years, that’s pretty good.
In fact, it’s become a father. It really
Helps the entire neighborhood.
He has some flowers, and his pollen is good,
And his cousins live in the Jordan Valley,
Each date has its own wrinkles, its own
Sugar, the tree in its own alley,
The alley in its own orchard, the fruit
In England and in Saxony.
Sweetness rises from the earth,
It drifts across to Ptolemy,
Greek islands, the Aegean Sea,
Across Crusader battlements,
Where the foul air snuffs out flame.
The spiders flutter filaments
And float into the sky, and beetles
Steer by the Milky Way,
And find the strung-out traveler
In a shanty in Bombay.
Yaacov David Shulman