Untanneh Tokef
Fretful Frederica

Uncle Eli Fretful Frederica
is flustered and flurried.
The New Year is coming!
She's starting to worry.
On Rosh Hashanah,
Frederica now fears,
her fate will be judged
for the rest of the year.
We all will be counted
as shepherds count lambs,
as captains count soldiers,
as farmers count yams,
as painters count colors,
as authors count words,
as cooks count their spices,
or cowboys their herds.


We all will be counted,
checked outside and in
for kindness or meanness--
for virtues or sins.


Fretful Frederica
is flustered and flurried.
The New Year is coming!
She's starting to worry.
Will she be happy,
or will she shed tears?
The great day of judgment
is finally here.
Then, on Yom Kippur
the decree will be sealed.
She'll have just ten days
to submit her appeal.


What kind of days
will the year have in store?
She wonders and ponders,
and wonders some more...


Will she get to relax
in a warm bath with bubbles,
or sit in a pit
full of cold, scratchy stubble?
Will her kite soar way up ,
in the sky roaming free,
or tangle itself
in the bough of a tree?
Will she score straight A's
and impress them in school,
or forget all the answers
and feel like a fool?

Repenting and praying
and helping the poor
will make the new year
oh so joyful for sure.


Will her garden be gifted
with sweet-scented roses,
or weeds that will have us all
holding our noses?
Will she sleep all night smiling
at dreams in her head,
or be wakened by Skrunch-monsters
under her bed?
Will she dance the ballet
with precision and grace,
or trip on a shoelace
and fall on her face?
Repenting and praying
and helping the needy
will make the new year
much more happy indeedy.


Will she keep hitting homers,
as crowds cheer and shout,
or will they all boo
as she strikes herself out?
Will she lead expeditions
to the Empire of Glock,
or will she get lost
when she strolls 'round the block?
Will her paintings be shown
in the finest museums,
or will everyone stick out their tongues
when they see 'em?
Repenting and praying
and acts of goodwill
will make the new year
yet more wonderful still

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