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Rachel, Cunning

You say
I should revere the father
who made my squint-eyed sister

my enemy,
birthing sons: chiseled-flint spears
to pierce my envious heart.

I say
He’s a trickster to rival
my heel-grabbing husband,

my love for Jacob
with my sister’s lithe body.

You say
I should hurl the past into shadow
now my own bright-cloaked boy

is bundled
atop a camel facing Canaan,
where Jacob’s god issues commands.

But I say
some artifacts are worth keeping
to bear us across burning deserts,

the idols
burrowed deep into my saddlebags
talismans against the spite of brothers.

You can hear a conversation about this poem on the Reformed Journal Podcast.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Patricia L. Hamilton

Patricia L. Hamilton is a Professor of English in Jackson, Tennessee, and is the author of The Distance to Nightfall. She won the Rash Award in Poetry in 2015 and 2017 and has received three Pushcart nominations. Her most recent work has appeared in Slant, The Ekphrastic ReviewPlainsongsThe Poetry Porch, and Prime Number Magazine.

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