The Cave at Machpelah

a cave in Israel
Sarah’s lifetime—the span of Sarah’s life—came to one hundred and twenty-seven years.
–Genesis 23:1
And Sarah died
and Abraham commenced weeping
tore his clothing, fell to his knees wailing.
Then Abraham rose, walked slowly until
he found a cave surrounded by olive trees and fig,
cedar and lilac. He sought out the price
for the cave and the land surrounding
and struck a bargain.
Abraham sat all night with the body
of his beloved that he bathed tenderly,
then wrapped her in a linen shroud
whiter than sand. In the morning
he placed her silent body
on a narrow limestone shelf
inside the smooth walls. He walked
outside and sealed shut the opening.
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