women’s work

for e., a local elder

My mother taught me
to sew
and I pull the fragile skin taut
across your arm,
take the needle from the kit
and sew
the way she taught me
to mend pants

your own work is known
around here
the doctor wears a kuspuk
sewn by you

my work doesn’t hold.
i hear from the team
your line pulled free
from your vein
and my stitches.

all that remains of my work
is sound of your voice
and the echo of
your rare embrace.

a poem for the subjectification of women

Identity is carved out in the territory
of women’s bodies.
It gives us whiplash.
My bare ankle is obscene in Ramallah,
my covered thigh is licentious in Bnai Brak.
Take a second look
my body mostly bared in a bikini
is a song of praise for the creator
of that flawed body, who for now, each moment,
with compassion still continues to sustain me.
And the sun that gently brushes my bared shoulders
is my birthright
and a gift.

(catching up on some old stuff I’ve written and not posted)