# Oh Zealots So Red

The barren walls reverberate a screech—1

My son, my son, O Absalom, my son!2

But daddy's lullabies will no more reach

My son, my son, O Absalom, my son!

No more, my son, I'll peel the prickly pear3

For you, no more embrace you while my fingers

Plow love furrows through your crown of hair.4

Gone is hope, my son,5 though yearning lingers.

Gone too those chilly nights when you would climb

Into my bed, and curl beside me, gently snore,

And warm yourself and me at the same time.

Such nights of warmth and whispers—nevermore!

Reverberant, this night, with words unsaid;

So cold a night—and none to warm my bed.

# Footnotes

105: David addresses the dead Absalom.

2: See II Samuel 19:1-5.

3: In Israel, the prickly pear is known as the sabra. Native-born Israelis have adopted the name for themselves, since the fruit is prickly on the outside, but sweet on the inside. The sweet pulp of the fruit is orange color.

4: Absalom had remarkably abundant hair. See II Samuel 14:26.

5: According to Talmud Bavli Sotah 10b, David uttered the word(s) "my son" eight times—seven times to raise Absalom from the seven chambers of Gehinnom (the underworld), and one more time to elevate him to the World to Come.

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