Shirat HaYam by A.J. Schuman
Sing our deliverance, Miriam, mother of song!
Horse and rider are cast in the sea!
Repealed the belly torn upon bronze point!
Revoked the rape of daughter while we watch unable!
Repented the stink of blood on sand and food for the fly!
Relented the shame of unburied husband torn by the vulture!
Reversed the hollow eyed starvation of the survivor!
Released the curse upon generations!
His armored troop carriers burn in their own fuel.
His cannon barrels blast bent.
His jeeps stalled wheels half buried.
His half-tracks shredded.
His rifles discarded hastily ammo boxes unopened.
His warplanes never arrived.
Take up tambourine, Miriam. Hum the hum you hear.
Walk away from this awful beach.
Smell chaparral, Miriam, smell the sticky monkey flower.
Hot wind flaps clothing answering rhythm.
Gravel in shoe the feel of freedom.
Miriam, dance the color of streaming cloud sunset.
Bitter dew on leafy lichen on sheared granite, dewy savor.
Weighing nothing, ruined teeth and patchy hair and scars.
Striped uniform threadbare against Polish April damp.
A village somewhere, a thatched roof somewhere: please some bread.
Nowhere: thicket of birch trees, pasture gone shrubby.
Back to Kiev if we could get there, to Palestine, to America, the moon.
Delivered without address; escaped without refuge.
Miriam, dance the dance of the future.
Dance grandchildren eating magical avocadoes we may never taste.
Sing us a song in their soft vowelly English.
Oh, Miriam, we shall never understand the words.
We would laugh at the llamas on their farms never even in pictures.
Let them float above the earth in zeppelin cities.
Let them wear tunics reflective as brass mirrors.
Let their sandals have wheels.
Let them make medicine from … moonlight.
Let the whole world come to them for their moonlight medicine.
Miriam, this is deliverance.
This is the land can’t quite imagine where we must now go.
Who is like you, among them all?
Who is like you, amazing, unique,
Astonishing, as we tell it, working wonders?