Jill Hammer

Bald Cypress

I walk on the land
as if traversing a lover, placing my feet
like hands.

Clouds of milkweed shiver
in the wind.  Branches
of cherry trees, unclothed,
twist dark against the day,
while earth under my tread,
brown and loose,
gently catches at my heels

and when at last I arrive
at the bald cypress--
straight, true, and delicately grained—

it is silent, at peace,
as if after a long exertion.



Rabbi Jill Hammer, PhD, is the Director of Spiritual Education at the Academy for Jewish Religion, and the co-founder of the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute.  A ritualist, liturgist, poet, dreamworker, and scholar, Rabbi Hammer is the author of a number of books, including The Jewish Book of Days: A Companion for all SeasonsSisters at Sinai: New Tales of Biblical WomenThe Hebrew Priestess: Ancient and New Visions of Jewish Women’s Spiritual Leadership (with Taya Shere), and The Book of Earth and Other Mysteries.  Her forthcoming book is titled Return to the Place: The Magic, Meditation., and Mystery of Sefer Yetzirah. She is the translator of Siddur haKohanot: A Hebrew Priestess Prayerbook, and The Romemu Siddur.  She lives in Manhattan with her wife and daughter.