A Mikvah Poem by Anonymous
An anonymous eema just Emailed (eema-iled) this poem to me, and I thought it was quite exquisite and moving…Makes me think of the multitude of secret stories hidden within every JewishMOMs heart.
An unseen cycle deep within
Reaches its apex, begins to wane
With the first drop of blood a wisp of death And the glass wall comes down between me and my husband
An awkward separation here
Disjointed passing babies back and forth Accidentally brushing past, a startled jerk Conversation sometimes feels like two strangers
All along, it’s flowing away
The cocoon that might have held a new brother It’s not necessary to mourn for what never was.
And bubbles of hope, this may be a new beginning.
A sea of white all around
Twice a day, but always on my mind
And one tiny dab of color discordant fear And I am left hanging hanging hanging Floating in space without a rope
As the days thud on monotonously
Twice a day, is it all a waste?
Still waiting, waiting wondering wishing
Finally a decisive psak
And I am wooshed back down to earth
Counting, counting, is it almost over?
Relief that now I know where I am
Until one final check and I sit and soak An almost surreal time, forced relaxation Intense focus over parts of me That usually suffice with a swipe in the shower
Nervousness, can something still pull me away?
Is the mikvah lady getting impatient with me?
Will I miss a scab that will send me back here?
Can I get all the hairs off, and what of the flaking skin?
Forced calm. It’s okay, you’re doing just fine.
Just follow the chart and He’ll do the rest
Almost in tears, enveloped in the water
A transparent shield at my most vulnerable
Awkward attempts to submerge properly
Kavana! I demand and am amused at myself Think holiness! I attempt desperately But my overwhelming thought is relief, almost done!
As I emerge waterlogged wiping water from my eyes Almost shaking as I get dressed clean and fresh The night air a shock to damp hair beneath the shaitel My husband’s face waits hopefully As I say, at last, I am pure.