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Jewesses with Attitude

An Un-Love Song

An Un-Love Song is written as a psalm to Shavuot, which is associated with one of the most beautiful, celebratory poems in history, the Song of Songs. However, it’s written in the style of a Lamentation, as a response to heartbreaking acts of aggression towards women and children in the misappropriated name of religion. The poem addresses current events against a backdrop of Biblical recounting, including the Mount Sinai experience, the sin of worshipping the golden calf, the subsequent breaking of the original Tablets, and the story of Ruth and Naomi. It is a decidedly feminist poem. 
 
Poetry serves to enligthen us. Poetry make us think. It also is its own form of entertainment. We're pleased to be publishing Dana's poem at such an apropos time— on the eve of Shavout, and during Jewish American Heritage Month's concentration on Jewish Entertainment. 
 
An Un-Love Song

I wake with tears

beneath the clouds

my soul may well have been there

it’s been a long, weary journey

from the mountain

to hear, to here.

 

I don’t know why she did it

why she converted to this religion

I don’t know why these women

chose a hard life in the corners

of the fields

maybe they just

wanted to be mothers

maybe they just

wanted to be daughters

maybe they just

missed their men

maybe they just

wanted to love

God.

So we have their story

We have the poem

The love song of all love songs

We were there

when it was written

We were there

when it was told

 

I have loved

You God

with all my soul

I have danced

to Your music

donned the costume

for Your play

I have stayed

the night

many nights

learning Your words

as if by candlelight

I have thrown myself

upon the rocks

for You

I have loved

You

have felt

loved by You

I was Your child

now grown

to half a life.

 

Once a man told me,

one of us is a rock

and one of us is a flower

Damn right I’m a flower.

 

he broke them

he broke them

I woke this morn

feeling the weight

as they came crashing down

I want to dive into the crashing

waves, they’re waving me on

I want to live, to float

not knowing

where I’m going

never wanting to leave

we are the leaves,

and the buds

and the honey

and the streams of milk

we are the land and the sea

Rising up to greet us

We are everything

and we are nothing

 

My heart is heavy

those who worshipped idols

who worshipped the body of

both meat and milk

the cow is a female

but there are those

who do not understand

the precision of language

who do not distinguish

between a cow

and bull

They are here with us now

they are worshipping their cows

they are worshipping their bulls

they are worshipping themselves

they are burning us down

they are dancing around

burning our hearts

 

They are false idols in our midst

Our leaders, they have fallen so low

the women wrap

themselves in prayer shawls

and their eyes burn

on the other side

 of the divide

the men throw tongues of fire

the women raise their children

and they know not

from where they came

they should have been scholars

they should have been leaders

they should have loved

the children

more than they loved themselves

they dropped us

they stomped on us

they stomped

all over

all over

all over

God.

 

 

Our dog is barking

howling, growling

driving us mad

he sniffs out a fox

or some creature

he detests

on the edge

of our home

amongst the weeds

there is no peace

in our home

under the trees

we fall

to sleep

we are asleep.

 

I awake

This morn

with a heavy heart

the animals

have taken over

they have made

our children

the sacrifice

for which they received

no commandment

they have desecrated

The Holy of Holies

they have lied

and murdered our souls

I am here to tell the story

to write the poem

To cry, my heart,

To cry, my heart

 

Oh Jerusalem

We are burning

from their fire

they have written

a new song

of rage

they remember the fire

and not the sea

they remember the fire

and not the stone

they remember the fire

and not the mountain

they remember the fire

and not the Glory

they remember the fire

and forget the stories,

there is no all-night toil

that can eradicate

the need for justice

 

She is crying in the streets

She is burning to the ground

She is weeping from there to here

muting the trumpets

to no avail

the tears have not,

are not, enough

to drown the fire

there will be no peace

until justice is done.

 

They have forgotten the poem

they have un-sung

our song.

Ruth in Boaz's Field
Full image
Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld: Ruth in Boaz's Field, 1828, Oil on Canvas.

How to cite this page

Dana. "An Un-Love Song." 15 May 2013. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on September 16, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/un-love-song>.

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