Today's poem is by Meg Schoerke


after Isaiah 54:1

We who are barren and desolate, let us sing.
Let our spirits rejoice, our voices multiply
and cry aloud unnoticed, as the reeds
beside a parched riverbed sigh in unison.
break forth into singing, women, the desolate,
let our imperfect cries become our children.

If we labor, we may yet have children
brought forth in lamentation as we sing,
for more are the children of the desolate
than of a married wife. They multiply
and lift their simple cries in unison
with our cries, strong and supple as the reeds.

The mother of Moses left him among the reeds
that he might flourish among Pharaoh's children.
After the maidens cried in unison
with joy at their small miracle, she sang
and did not let her sorrows multiply
but nursed the child, no longer desolate.

She gave her beloved to the desolate
in a pitch basket woven of dead reeds,
so that her strength, in him, might multiply
and through the wilderness uphold the children
of Israel, who, as they walked, would sing
new songs of thanks and praise in unison.

They would not sing with her in unison,
for banished Moses left her desolate
to die before he came again to sing
hail down like fire that scorched the river reeds.
Oh fruitful women, you must lose your children;
their deeds, but not your songs, will multiply.

Learn then to let your voices multiply:
sing, with the barren, songs in unison.
And barren women, covet not their children,
whose deeds will only make them desolate,
but bend in sorrow like the graceful reeds
and after the wind passes stand and sing.

Rejoice in unison when desolate:
let our songs multiply like endless reeds;
our voices are our children. Let us sing.

Copyright © 2004 Meg Schoerke All rights reserved
from Anatomical Venus
Word Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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