Deborah: Omen

Deborah: Omen
Elliott batTzedek
Rebekah’s nursemaid, went with her when she married Isaa

Who raises children in the wilderness, alone
like there is something wrong with the rest of the world?
No one asked me if I wanted to be
hauled from my home to this dry place.
But my luck followed me, even to here.
This Isaac, who bought a bride he never saw
loved my Rebekah so dearly that he has taken
no other wives to lord over me, nor
has he ever called me to his bed.

What kind of man is content with only two
children? Perhaps this desert has dried up
all of the fruit and seeds!

And these boys!
The years of fighting, and always me
they would come running to with their complaining
and accusing. Oh, but you should have seen
my boys as babies! The way they would sleep curled
right up against each other, holding on so closely
they could not be separated
until both were awake.

“If only they’d been that peaceful in the womb!” Rebekah
would whisper to me as we weighed
the miracle of them.
I think they were, though, just so, wrapped
together, quiet, until some evil spirit
reached in to turn them back to back.

After my Rebekah met her husband’s god,
she came to me, and made me hide
her Asherah in a box, like a child’s outgrown toy.
Later, when she conceived, I tried to retrieve her protector
but the box was empty. I tried to warn her
but who I was to say? Only the nursemaid,


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