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Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues 11.1 (2006) 238-243

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Five Poems

No More Important Men

I don't want any more
Important men
Clever men, rich men
I don't want to be
Their wife any more
I want to be
These things myself
No more favors for me
I no longer need
A father to look up to
To teach me rules and manners
I'll find the path my self
The path I wish to follow
I'll ask my blood
The rhythm of my heart
My impulse and emotions
I'll be my own boss
In a free universe
But if you agree–
–To be my brother
For better or for worse
I'll be for you
A loving sister
translated into English by Yaffah Berkovits Murciano [End Page 238]


Mother cooked
meat in the pot,
a tasty dish
to make you healthy.
They cooked me
in a song
to make you happy.
Someone slaughtered me.
A ritual slaughter!
–make no mistake–
He cut me to pieces,
threw salt on the wounds
to draw out the blood.
Oh, he kept strictly
to the rites!
Immersed me in water,
waited the set time.
Someone else came,
put the water to boil,
castigated my flesh.
Someone roasted me over fire,
someone fried me in hot oil,
and added pungent spices.
May my spirit rise, sweet incense
in your nostrils,
to awaken
your body's
translated into English by Yaffah Berkovits Murciano [End Page 239]

I Came To You

I came to you beaten
wretched, silent,
You held out your arms,
fists tightly clenched,
to wrap me in your
choking embrace
I came to you
not wanting to,
led to the slaughter
like a wayward daughter.
You licked poison in my wounds,
leaned against me
till you shattered me,
then gathered the broken pieces
molded them into shape
to soak up your rage.
Your beatings cut through
to my shame,
touched my defenseless guilt.
And so we clung together
in anguish and
terrible hate.
I hated you with passion,
desire welling up in me,
lust of the mortified flesh
locked in the pit of destruction.
Visions of revenge
my only defense [End Page 240]
against powerless feeling,
till I lost all senses!
Then I locked away my insult
behind laughter and smiles.
Gave the man compliments awhile.
My tears dried up,
turning into bile.
And so I learned silence
for each act of violence . . .
till you raised your hand
against the lad.
Then I swore forever
to cut off the hand
that struck the child
–through tears and vomit–
to scar him forever.
Then I vowed to avenge
his stricken terror.
I fled from you
beaten, broken, avenging.
I spread my wings
over the child
and soared above peaks
and dived deeper than water.
I walked away from you,
Strong, sane and
translated into English by Yaffah Berkovits Murciano [End Page 241]

When I Grow Up

When I grow up
I'll be a high-society lady
I'll be rich
I'll be almighty
My maids and servants will be at the ready
When I grow up
I'll be different from Shem
I'll be a light Blond
When I grow up
I'll be pert
I'll be bright
I'll be smart
I'll be quite 'The Expert'
When I grow up
I'll be a hero
I'll be strong
A leader
And people will follow
When I grow up
In high-society
I'll be accepted
Adored and wanted
worshiping males a bounty
In my small state of being
Imagination I praised
In my lowliness
My dreams I raised
translated into English by Niki Serri [End Page 242]


Her langwich a mess.
She doesn't make up her face.
Short and embarrassed,
She doesn't get along.
Either silent or stuttering,


Additional Information

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pp. 238-243
Launched on MUSE
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