As Earth Day Falls During Passover

Hodology, they tell me, is
the study of paths —
Dirt or gravel, wide or narrow
strip of bright brown earth
through grass — the paths
leading in are hodos in,
and hodos out, ex hodos —
that’s your exodus —
preceded by ten plagues,
of which the first is blood —

The rivers flood blood
seeping up from wells and pumps
and raining from red clouds above —
Blood drenching the ground,
The playgrounds, schools,
and every house, in every town —
Where water was it’s just blood now.

Second plague: the frogs are gone.
Along with all amphibians.
Third plague’s lice, then pestilence,
firestorms that sweep the hills,
and melt the roads, melting the soil;
followed by boils, and buboes, and lesions
Next the locust swarms, then famine
Darkness that devours minds — though
You won’t lose your firstborn child
This time you will lose them all

Elliot Sperber is a writer, attorney, and adjunct professor. He lives in New York City and can be reached at and on twitter @elliot_sperber