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You ask me what I thought then. I thought what I think still—to
keep custody of my eyes and lips. If my mistress wraps fig cakes in
coarse cloth and packs them in a sack with leavened bread and
passes the sack to me, I accept it. If she drains oil from a jug into a
flask, if she chooses one skin of wine from among several, I accept
it. I carry what she hands over. Trailing a step or two behind, I nod
when she murmurs. No, I never complained of fatigue or hunger.
Nor did she. One doesn’t. When did I understand what she’d
done? I knew when it was proper for me to know. Of course she
was beautiful. Doesn’t your story say so? Doesn’t it describe the
men’s eyes, how they were enticed? You ask me what I thought,
what I felt, you with your language’s fine distinctions between
servant and slave. I thought I would carry her bag if she held it
toward me. If not, I would not. Now you say my name remains

So it is, נערה
αβρα, ancilla,

Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash

Lynn Domina

Lynn Domina is the author of two collections of poetry, Corporal Works and Framed in Silence, and the editor of a collection of essays, Poets on the Psalms. Her most recent book is a collection of reflections, Devotions from HERstory: 31 Days with Women of Faith. She is a profressor of English Department at Northern Michigan University and is Creative Writing Editor of The Other Journal.