Saturday, 18 March 2017

Puah (Exodus)



Every few days I gather herbs.
Relief I offer, comfort for discomfort.
A hand to hold, words to soothe…
I bring a tisane or a blanket.
I hush the visitor and talk to grandma,
Stroking your forehead, letting wrinkles be smoothed.

I say the prayers in the tongue of our heart.
I keep watch and try to shield the birth’s timing.
It would not do for others to know.
So we quiet your screams and stifle all noise,
Helping you keep this baby a secret,
In the hope it may be allowed to grow.

My duty and role have been challenged of late:
I have been ordered to knife the boys,
To still their lives before they start.
But how does one face a mother’s despair
Of, better yet, her terror and pleading?
I cannot do the deed, for my part!

How are we to save the condemned?
What kind of ruse can work in this place?
I wonder at all the innocence lost.
This is what drives me to help and take risks.
This is how we must take to subversion -
Into a river a basket is tossed!


© 2017, A.Koh-Butler

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