Midrash: Household Gods

In Beit Midrash torah study, we spent several months on Genesis 31. Towards the end, Rachel steals her father’s household gods.
I was honored to teach a short writing class in the group. One of the topics: What are your household gods? Answers below from me and Isabel Winson-Sagan.
Who Are Your Household Gods? by Isabel Winson-Sagan

My household god
lounges on the red couch
languid, paws outstretched
a false sense of relaxation
and one amber eye, flickering open

My household god
is a framed photograph
next to a stone Buddha
a boy once knocked it off the shelf
and started to cry

My household god
lives in a black pot
from Santa Clara Pueblo-
but sometimes, he prefers
the little blue one, with chrysanthemums

My household god
is kept at bay
by the loaf of bread and salt
that I hid in the back of a cupboard

My household god
is in the apricot tree
grown from a branch
that I took from my parent’s backyard

I keep the ancestors close
the Devil out
and the brownies placated

A whistling teapot is like a prayer
to Hestia, the lit candles
call to Hecate
the skull beads are for balance.

The tarot cards
fall out of the deck
in a perfect circle

My household god
is in the wind
outside my window
stirring up a dust devil
to say hello.


What Are My Household Gods? by Miriam Sagan

1. Grandma Flossie’s X-mas cactus
2. No microwave
3. Frayed broom
4. My dead husband’s bookshelves made of fruit crates
5. My live husbad’s pickle jars full of nuts and pretzels
6. The ghost of a cat
7. Laundry drying rack
8. Every Navajo rug
9. Mouse hole covered in tin can top
10. A pinata that once hung from a ceiling hook

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About Miriam Sagan

I'm blogging about poetry, land art, haiku, women artists, road trips, and Baba Yaga at Miriam's Well (https://miriamswell.wordpress.com). The well is ALWAYS looking to publish poetry on our themes, sudden fiction, and guest bloggers and musers.

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