Vox Populi

A curated webspace for Poetry, Politics, and Nature. Over 16,000 daily subscribers. Over 7,000 archived posts.

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.



Yehoshua November

4 comments on “Yehoshua November: Conjoined Twins

  1. Kathryn Amiel
    July 31, 2022

    I am left speechless……As always, heart rendering and poignant.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. anisioluiz2008
    July 29, 2016

    Reblogged this on O LADO ESCURO DA LUA.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. triciaknoll
    July 29, 2016

    Your poem moved me deeply.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


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

Enter your email address to follow Vox Populi and receive new posts by email.

Join 16,090 other subscribers

Blog Stats

  • 4,685,620 hits


%d bloggers like this: