Our Mother In Exile

While in exile,
she takes it—
at best—to the chest,

waits for redemption,
has no option
but to display a patience
beyond imagination,

is beggar-starved,
told to count herself fortunate
when crumbs of excess
tumble from the table.

Forced into tricksterdom,
she shapeshifts,
hides in plain sight,
sits upon
hidden idols,
learns to swim with the fishes,
or drown trying.

She moves so slowly
It’s as if she is frozen,
entombed en route
to Efrat,

haunting Malchut,
a city built only of words.

Once emancipated
by four-cupped freedom,
she will still need
the sweetening
of everything.

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With no struggle,
there is no structure.
With no boundary,
there can be no holding,
only light, a spilling

She wrestles
with the best of them,
the vessel
into existence,

a thing forged
for receiving,
stretched, even,
fashioned for expansion.

wants nothing so much
as to fit its limitless rampant
into the littlest of spaces;
to be contained
in her very


Photo: “fiz bang” by Jessica Alpern