Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Nascent Wisdom"

This is the linkback perk poem for the May 1, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was originally hosted by DW user Dialecticdreamer.  This poem came out of the April 3, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from kestrels_nest.  It also fills the "nascent" square in my 4-1-18 card for the Spring Fest Bingo.


Nascent Wisdom


Jewish women’s magic is
the magic of everyday things.

It is in the charms stitched
into a baby’s clothes, or
sung while baking bread
to bless a new home.

The great rabbis have time
to study the many Names of God
to figure out which one to slip
into the mouth of a golem.

Women don’t have that kind of time,
busy with babies and work that never ends.

So how do Jewish women learn how
to improve their world or protect
the ones they love, as they put
their magic in the things they
embroider and sew and bake?

It is Lilith who comes
to whisper inspiration
into the women's ears.

She brings them
nascent wisdom of
spinning and weaving.

She teaches them how
to turn clay into crockery --
an alchemy of all four elements,
miracle hiding in plain sight.

She shows them the ways of
taming yeast to leaven their bread.

Lilith does not do this out of love.
She does it out of spite.

She watches the men
sitting at their ease, studying;
and she watches the women
working and working at home.

She remembers Adam
telling her to lie beneath him,
and for her refusal she
was called a demon.

So Lilith teaches
the women to spite
the men, gives them
her art and her magic
and a taste for power.

Every time a man says,
"Lie beneath me,"

Lilith says, "Get up."

* * *

Notes:

According to Judaism, Lilith was Adam's first wife and later a demon.

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, gender studies, poem, poetry, reading, spirituality, weblit, writing
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