En Route

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When you’re traveling for a simcha

You pack your pretty dresses

Maybe a new lipstick

How many pairs of shoes do I need?

Will these heels hurt my feet?

When you’re traveling for a simcha

Kiss, kiss, hug, hug

“You look ahhh-maaazing!

Tell me, are you allowed any carbs on your plan?”

When you’re traveling for a simcha

You might give what you’d like to receive

Be it cash in an envelope

Or a gift certificate to Amazon.com

Either way, they say “Thanks!”

(How did you know we like cash?)

When you’re traveling for a simcha

You’re light and free

Even when the flight is delayed

Or cancelled

(Hey, you can always hop aboard a Megabus)

When you’re traveling for a simcha

Simcha is where it’s at

The plane or bus or car

Glides along

Whistling the carefree tune

Of traveling for a simcha

When you’re traveling, and it’s not a simcha

Your carry-on holds rocks

Lipstick might not happen

Shoes? Yeah, whatever

When you’re traveling, and it’s not a simcha

Kiss, kiss, hug, hug

People mill about, concerned

“Is there anything we can do?”

When you’re traveling, and it’s not a simcha

You might give what you hope to never receive

You hear yourself negotiating

A cosmic bargain

G-d, please let me see the merit in Your tests

When you’re traveling, and it’s not a simcha

You’re heavy, in shackles

Even when the flight is delayed

Or cancelled

Megabus hurls you forward

Your prayers and tears

Traveling upward

Dark thunder clouds overhead

When you’re traveling, and it’s not a simcha

Our passports share tales of travels and travails

This trip–happy! fun! marvelous!

This one—wrenching, difficult, dark!

The journey, a multi-layered tapestry

Of tribulations, triumphs, trials

No suitcase quite like the other

And we never travel alone.


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Chana Perman
Chana Perman holds an M.S. in Special Education. Her innovative poems, essays and lectures reflect two and a half decades of experience working with students of all ages and abilities. Although Chana's "heart is in the East", she currently lives with her family in Toronto.