Reconciliation … after Genesis

Prayers for peace my friends, comfort for the family and friends of Thawarat Ashrawi

Now Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two maids. He put the maids with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. He himself went on ahead of them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near his brother. But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.” (Genesis 33: 1-4)

Rachel’s gotten out of line.

She runs ahead, can’t wait in the rear
where he longs to protect her.
She needs to be close
when the limping heel-holder,
sheep-cheater,
tribe-daddy, angel-dreamer,
mamma’s boy, wrestler –

with his bowl of birthright soup,
stew of blessing –

meets the big red-headed brother
who came to mean more
in those years of heart’s exile
than any success.

So she runs, trips to her knees,
one hand on her heart
and one braced on the man
she loves –
deep as well, cheap as mandrake,
as one twin with his armies,
and the other twin with his children

hold each other, reconciled.

Esau cries above his empty
sheath, fallen
sword;
Jacob gasps for breath,
fish-mouth foolish in relief.

But only Rachel has open eyes,
and she sees
the one moment in history
when brother-blood is not shed,
The woman who will weep
for all her children
in Ramallah,
longs for the promised land –

Genesis, come to Gaza.

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2 Responses to Reconciliation … after Genesis

  1. sugruerm says:

    Powerful, pertinent imagery, and believable thoughts of the passionate Rachel – though I personally feel Leah (of whom scholars tell there are hints of myopia) was the more seeing of the sisters.

  2. Maren says:

    You may indeed be right!

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