Our best times were in Egypt, when we fled.
I spoke a foreign tongue, and , yes, I prayed
to Isis, screaming till my insides bled.
then sat outside in heat and blowing sand
and watched my baby, mindless as he played,
the goddess his protector in this land.
And when I healed, the old man finally turned
and touched me, and beneath her moon we made
our second baby. Oh, I thought we could
stay there forever. I was still a child.
One day he came to me. He shambled, old,
into the kitchen where I kneaded bread
to make my family's dinner. When he said
It's safe, we can go home, that's when I died.
The baby in my womb still drank my blood.
The old man smiled. He always was so kind,
his touch at night more gentle than a bird.
I tried to tell him, but my tongue was wood
and Isis did not answer when I called.
The fatherless one, though, he rose and stood
alone amid his toys as if those words
had killed him too. How could he understand
what angels' whispering voices in my head
had always told me : he was not my child.
We had not run from Herod but from G-d.