The Sounds Of Mikvah

Ring, ring
Step, step
“Bath, please.”

Click, click
Door shuts

Snip, snip
Clip, clip
So much noise.

Drip, drop
Drop, gush
Find the calm.

The thoughts in my mind
Bounce from the lofty
To the mundane
To the –


A broken record
Of that chosen word

In my cocoon.


What’s private for one sister
Becomes public


That statement

A witness

That those sounds that reverberate
As we pulse to the rhythm of our cycle’s crescendo
Signal a time
Signal a space
Where click, clack and
Splish, splash and
Drip, drop and
Ring, ring–
“I’m ready!”

Mean so much more.

Mean every paradoxical moment where we attempt to hold
Every extreme
Life and death
Past and future
Love and hate
What is forbidden and

Where click, clack and
Splish, splash and
Drip, drop and
Ring, ring


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Boruch ata ado-nai, elo-hainu melech ha’olam,
asher kidishanu b’mitzvosav v’tzivanu,
al ha’tvilah.




Me, gulping for air
Me, breathing life
Me, looking for peace


And the water rushes into my ears and into my eyes
And into my heart
I hope.

I hope

This water somehow drowns out the sounds
The noise
The words that spoke of regrets only an hour ago.

The murmurings I made to myself
“Oh, I’m not in the mood”
“Oh, this again”
“Oh, I’m tired.”

The “Mommy, when are you coming back?”
The “Can’t wait!”
The “Come back soon.”

The “Please G-d bless my children”
The “Please G-d bless all those yearning for something”
The “Please G-d bless my husband and me with…”


Of a marriage unfolding
Crashing against waves.

Which words scream louder underwater?
Which utterances are amplified as we immerse in hope and wonder?
Which sounds do we choose to hear?

I can’t tell.

For now, it’s the pitter patter of steps against concrete
Making my way home.