It's just poetry, it won't bite

Day of Atonement

01.31.11 Posted in words to linger on by

Adrienne Drobnies is a poet and scientist/project manager at the Genome Sciences Center in Vancouver Canada. Her poetry has appeared at Canadian literary magazines including ScrivenerNeWest ReviewWavesPoetry Canada Review, and Poetry Toronto and in the anthologies New Voices (Mosaic Press) and From Sinai to the Shtetl and Beyond: Where is Home for the Jewish Writer? (Hamilton Jewish Literacy Festival, 2009). Adrienne has written a suite of poems, Randonneés, that was short-listed for the Canadian Broadcasting Company literary award for poetry. 

Day of Atonement

By Adrienne Drobnies

I search for Kol Nidre

among the few words I know

in this language

Baruch atah adonai

What do I know

about you


married once

one child


two children

made hats

went broke

threw bombs in theaters

Your image

is passed down to me

along with 

the punched cards

shuttled through the looms

of your last years

None of this tells me

how you walked out of Poland

eighty years ago

or why your son wakes

thirty years

after your death

still seeking acceptance

in dreams of explanation

and a life of atonement

Author’s note: Baruch atah adonai means Blessed art thou, O Lord and opens most Hebrew prayers. The Kol Nidre is the special recitation for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and opens with the Aramaic words Kol Nidre, which means all vows.

3 Responses to “Day of Atonement”

  1. John McCallum says:

    Insightful work…there are so many meanings to the word “atonement” in a christian sense it means ” At ONE ment” faith leading us back to the source (ONE)

  2. bobbie troy says:

    Yes, great poem indeed.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,882 other subscribers

Latest Podcast Episode
vox poetica archives
%d bloggers like this: