Michal at the Well

Rivkah, like you, I offered my jar,
drew water, stepped up like other women.
I watched them leave, a caravan adorned
with nose rings, golden bracelets.
It has been quiet since you’ve been gone.

Hannah, a priest called you drunk
when you spoke in your heart.
With the passage of days
you received what you requested:
I met one of them. He missed you,
praying as you were again.
He left me, too old for a son of my own.

Ruth, I thought I found my people,
I promised them: I go where you go,
I slept at their feet.
When I woke, they had disappeared.

I, too, bathed on roofs, Batsheba,
I was passionate and smart.
I felt safe in my king’s arms,
wanted to dance and sing with him.
Cut from his heart,
I watched him leap down another path.

Sarah, Rachel, Leah,
of all the women in the Bible
—barren, used, unloved—
I am the one
whose prayers were left unanswered.

God did not remember me. And yet my name lives on in Israel.

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