According to Midrash,
Pharaoh decreed that the sons of Israel
labor in the fields all day and at night
sleep there away from their wives
like chaff torn from the seed.
But listen to the voices calling, railing.
Their women have come, bringing wine,
copper mirrors clink in their hands.
Sun darkened faces, him, her, mud caked,
heady with drink shine, elongate, bend to desire.
Deep within the metal their children’s children flicker
six hundred thousand strong.
Natalie Lobe is the author of What Gypsies Don't Know (New Academia Publishing/Scarith Books, 2018), and three chapbooks: Conversation with Abraham (Finishing Line Press, 2012), Island Time (Black Island Press, 2008), and Connected Voices (March Street Press, 2006). Her poems have appeared in Slant, Jewish Currents, and Comstock Review. She has taught as a Poet in the Schools in Maryland and to adults and senior citizens. For three years she reviewed poetry for Manserrat Review.