February 18, 2020

A Passover Story

The men were too tired for love,

Or maybe they were ashamed of their longing,

Dirty as they were with work they hated

And other men’s contempt.

Safer to pretend they wanted nothing

And needed even less.

The women were tired, too,

But they could see the future

In that way that only a woman

Who desperately wants a child can see,

A fiery laser vision which is

Its own superpower.

And so the women made a miracle.

They caught fish, heated water,

Teased, beckoned, held small brass mirrors.

Later, after the babies came, after the Exodus,

They would melt those mirrors into

A sacred bowl for the Tabernacle.

For they knew, as any woman who wants

A child knows, that the mess of the body is holy,

And shame is a curtain over truth,

And love incinerates perfection.

So come, my love, sit with me beneath the apple tree.

You are the center of the world.

Tell me what you want,

Even if you have to whisper.

What’s the point in hiding,

When soon enough we’ll all be gone?

Alicia Jo Rabins is a writer, musician and Torah teacher. Her most recent book of poetry is “Fruit Geode” (Augury Books).