Yocheved’s Journey

woman walking barefoot in desert wearing loose striped dress with hair blowing in the wind
For Shabbat Shirah
I walk
I put one foot in front of the other
If that’s what you mean
By walking
My feet are leaving traces
In the thick, wet mud, albeit slowly
I started off at the head of the track
Now I am almost at its end, behind me
Only the young men guarding us
Vulnerable flock
We are the elders
I know my children are out there
Leading us
With wisdom, words,
And song
They are dancing, rushing, and running
Toward their future
Awaiting them at the other shore
I won’t keep up for a long time
On this journey, the miracle for me is
Its beginning
I know I won’t be there
For its end
My name is Yocheved,
Daughter of Levi, wife of Amram,
Mother of Aaron, Moses, and Miriam
I am walking
In silence
Not a single word will you know
Of the many I have spoken
I am walking
One out of many
Carrying my clothes, my water barrel,
And the memories of their childhood and father
I am walking
because there was no sense in staying
So I am walking
To the next station
It might be my last
But it might also not
I hear my daughter singing,
I see her racing over the sand, stretching her hands
Toward the big blue walls
Of signs and wonders.
I see my sons walking
Next to each other
May they only continue
To walk together this way.
I wish for your freedom
I wish for your wonders
I wish that you will not know
A lifetime enslaved
I wish that you will not suffer
I see my children
They walk toward the future
My heart goes with them
My soul does sing
I am Yocheved
My feet are walking
Leaving traces
In the thick, wet mud
With each step
I am holding my head higher
I am a dying princess
on my way home.
I might not get there
But maybe that doesn’t matter
What matters is the fact that we’re walking
All us of together
Stretching our backs
Suddenly unburdened
In the midst of the wild miracles
Of this different, new life.
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