Unetanneh Tokef

Fretful Frederica

       is flustered and flurried.

The New Year is coming!

       She's starting to worry.

On Rosh Hashanah,

       Frederica now fears,

her fate is decreed

       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 virtue or sin.

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

       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

       much more 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 her

       as she strikes out?

Will she lead expeditions

       to the kingdom 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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