I Lonely Lament
The smell of sheep, I hate! The noise
of nasal bleats enunciates
dependence worse than family boys.
This sister's chore inseminates
their numbers, writ, and prayers, despite
those guileless faces begging, "Speak
no more, we're tired of sums, tonight."
Without a rest, six days each week
a shepherd leads the pasture search
through deep crevasse or mountain pass,
where meadows lie below her perch.
Farsighted eyes await the glass
to leave the dells for water wells,
then night, the pen, and dawn again.
Is there no more to life than this,
deceitful stirrings within the breast,
the eldest born, yet doomed to miss
my own in birth, at Fate's behest?
I saw him come. Convinced, he one
whose bed I'd share, the husband who'd
entomb good seed, son after son,
til from his crops new clans ensued,
that soon he'd ask my hand. Instead,
for seven years he worked to earn
the right to choose a wife to wed
for love. Jacob's outraged concern
he spoke to Laban's waiting face,
on substitution subterfuge,
"Leah's in Rachel's bridal place!"
"The eldest marries first. No huge
event, remain the week and gain,
the one adored can be restored."
Six sons I bore a clever man,
his passion not in store for me.
Respect, honor, duty men can
give. Love is for lovers to see.
Today, I have him all alone,
the vision changed. The way it seemed,
for years of slights he would atone,
to find in me all he had dreamed.
Instead, I am a loser twice,
my sister dead, his love forlorn,
withdrawn, that face set cold as ice,
as if in blame, a silent scorn
descends, estranges further still.
Her death a second son had born,
the two his pride and joy would fill
the empty heart by absence torn.
She, his beauty, I mere duty,
each far apart in Jacob's heart.
Could I return to virgin days,
no man would I let close to me
whose lips and eyes indifference pays
to passion for his wife to be.
Women of the Word
Poems From the Goober Tree
[This message has been edited by H. Arlequin (edited 11-13-1999).]