Vox Populi

Vox Populi: A Public Sphere for Politics and Poetry

Yehoshua November: Conjoined Twins

My father was a resident in the hospital

when my young mother gave birth to them. Two bodies

and one heart.

 

And hearing that the pathologists at that teaching institution

were coming to learn the lessons

science’s rare cases could teach,

my father turned the combination

on his locker and concealed the stillborn baby boys in a box.

 

Early the next morning, another Jewish resident

stood over the bodies with my father,

performed the ritual circumcisions in the silence

of an unoccupied delivery room.

“Choose names you would not otherwise use,”

the rabbi had instructed over the phone.

 

At the burial my father asked why

this had happened. “Perhaps you are not

as religious as you should be,” the rabbi answered.

And the answer plunged God

into concealment for my father.

“I looked quickly

and saw them embracing,”

my mother later said

of the two boys, who were to be born

between Purim and Passover.

 

One was named Mordechai,

who gathered all the Jews

when they thought they had been forsaken.

And one was named Pesach,

the holiday when all Jews,

even idol worshippers,

were freed,

as long as they desired to go.

 

And they left their bondage

and arrived at the mountain

where, the Midrash states,

they camped in the desert

like one man                                                                                                                                                                                        

with one heart.

Copyright 2016 Yehoshua November from his collection Two Worlds Exist published by Orison.

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6912_November

Yehoshua November

2 comments on “Yehoshua November: Conjoined Twins

  1. anisioluiz2008
    July 29, 2016

    Reblogged this on O LADO ESCURO DA LUA.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. triciaknoll
    July 29, 2016

    Your poem moved me deeply.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on July 29, 2016 by in Poetry, Social Justice and tagged , .
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