Thursday, January 19, 2012

To the Handmaid of El-roi

" וַיִּשָּׂא־לֹ֣וט אֶת־עֵינָ֗יו וַיַּרְא֙ אֶת־כָּל־כִּכַּ֣ר הַיַּרְדֵּ֔ן כִּ֥י כֻלָּ֖הּ מַשְׁקֶ֑ה לִפְנֵ֣י ׀ שַׁחֵ֣ת יְהוָ֗ה אֶת־סְדֹם֙ וְאֶת־עֲמֹרָ֔ה כְּגַן־יְהוָה֙ כְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם בֹּאֲכָ֖ה צֹֽעַר׃"

Across the flat and endless parch
The salt pan stretched to infinite white
And the heat of day danced with Death
While my thirsty heart gasped for breath

Across the plains of death you walked
Barefeet never feeling the kiss of heat
Your robe of crimson caressed by gold
The image of a river in a land of cold

Across your face the ashes blew fire
The hair in your shawl together billowed sail-like
And those eyes that watched my creation's first step
Those eyes now saw me and such tears they wept

Across your face fell the antediluvian rains
And collected in the cup of such deep fingers
And kneeling as a penitent before this huddled man
You planted those tears in the cracking sand

Across the firmament the lightning crackled
And heaven was defenestrated by the seed in the sand
The tendril of viridian sprang from your sigh
And raised first-leaves prayer-like to the weeping sky

Across the flat and endless parch fell your rain
And ran together and crashed together and roared
Your song gurgled from depths, like a fountain sprang
And your river brought life wherever it ran

Across the space between the two there reached
A hand holding something more dear than water or life
Your fingers unfolded to reveal the heaviest thing of all
A kindness offered in answer to suffering's call.

"And he looked out towards Zoar, over the whole
of the plains of Jordan.
And he saw that it was watered well
and like the Eden..."

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