A Literary Magazine in Support of the Jewish Community

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"This Keening" by Joy Arbor

This Keening

Long ago, it’s said, the voices of

       women raised standing stones,

menhirs, with their sorceries of

       sound. Amazon remains show

women were once brawnier, bigger-boned.

       Are our vocal cords now too slight

to vibrate at the frequency that compels even

       stone to listen? Not since the Goddess of Peace

has a mourning mother’s keening inspired

       warriors to lay down their swords.

If only she could bless us with a song, a dirge,

       the throat that will halt bulldozers,

send soldiers home from checkpoints,

       transform hearts and minds already so we can begin

forging a peace worthy of everyone. We

       are, after all, One. You shake, I

quiver. Our lives interwoven even if we

       don’t know we touch (and never meet). Let’s put down our

arms and sing—not with despair, but joy.

Joy Arbor

Joy Arbor is the author of the chapbook, Where Are You From, Originally? (Finishing Line Press, 2016). Her poems have won an Academy of American Poets Prize, been nominated for Best of the Net, and been anthologized in A Human Voice. She lives in Davis, California. Read more at joyarbor.net.



Joy Arbor
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