Poetry: A Love Song for Leah

How I long to wrap you Leah
in a tender embrace
to hold all the anguish of your
this never-ending effort
birthing nations from a fruitful unloved womb
as if by action
as if by effort
as if by emptying yourself a thousand times
you might be loved

the older sister
languishing under her sister’s splendid tree

did you weep beneath the veil
anticipating all the pain
of being a disappointment
cast aside in shock
on your only wedding night

you are a hundred thousand women over
who have tried
to be someone else
for someone else
who have uttered those damaged words
‘surely now my husband will love me’
unaware you can be
and still rejected – it’s not you, it’s them.

I’d like to hold your hand Leah
and tell you of a legacy
of a man – Holy and Human
who was prepared to carry your naked humiliation
to a public execution
a man who came
from the line of Leah
a lion like your Judah
who shared your DNA

and loved you
how he loves you – ancient mother, grandmother
empty womb
or a thousand sons

you were seen and loved Leah
not by Jacob
but by
El Roi
who carried your neglected name
into his family tree.