When all was lost. When we wept. When there was nothing else to do but wait. In the midst of misfortune, you can stand on rooftops, waving desperately to the incoming helicopters as the flood sets in, clutching all you have left, and still lose everything you hold dear. You cannot hold joy as close … More On the Return of Joy and the Flood.
My father found the pink geranium in the garbage, bedraggled and sick, dried leaves crumpled in an ornamental birdcage that curtailed its growth, the stem twisted in dizzying spirals within its confined space that it was allotted. A kitschy bird perched on the dome grimly eyed whoever glanced its way. We did not know what … More On Geraniums and Limits.
To give them what they want molds the bread and ruins the wine. Son, if you knew men and not what they should be, you would know that joy is not as necessary as the promise. … To give them what they need leavens the bread, lets the wine breath. Son, if you knew women … More Mary’s Lament at the Wedding
I sold him for silver and I did not curse the Word. I waited for the tenderness of his hand on my cheek before I set the wolves on the lamb, a poor shepherd indeed to the man who was mine. I kissed him like the frost does the hopeful bud in midwinter—so reluctant— … More The Lament of Judas Iscariot
Blame not the whore for loving what she wilt. I would give gold for plums in the dark midwinter. Do not expect to be loved. Desired, yes, always and in all places, wanted for what you had, not what you made with your hands. If I danced for them, I did not speak. Silence was … More Mary Magdalene’s Lament
They still rush in, bags heavy and swirling coats, wet boots and crumpled gloves. The train left minutes ago. What they want no longer waits for them. … © 2015 Anna-Christina Betekhtin, All Rights Reserved.
Note: “Yosef” is the earlier, more accurate Hebrew pronunciation of the name “Joseph”. … The good Lord knows I am a simple man, Miryam; I took you for wife when you were too young to know sunlight is a blessing, rain more so and the earth is hard. I know how to make things strong … More Yosef’s Lament
Note: “Miryam” is the earlier, more accurate Hebrew pronunciation of the name “Mary”. … Before you, Yosef, I only knew the roughness of the white goat’s flank on my cheek. The mottled one bucked wild whenever it saw me come to milk, so your ginger beard was a surprise, like green things in the dessert. … More Miryam’s Lament
If I danced, it wasn’t because I wanted to please him. What happens when I use my limbs in that way isn’t something I can quite explain to those who use mere words to speak. If I knew grit and dirt once, I do know sweat and ill-gained jewels now. … If I move, I … More Salome’s Lament
They asked for my daughters. They smilingly offered cracked pomegranates when the market was done, asked for the sweet release only they could give. My girls grew quiet, scarlet-cheeked, tossed the insult back at them, ran alone through whipped streets, dust in the wind, home. They were no rotten jewels ill-formed, but permissions, whole and … More The Lament of Lot’s Wife