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  • Anita Jawary

A Poem for Passover: Finding Freedom

I am grateful to Poetica Magazine for publishing my poem Finding Freedom, April 19, 2022.

It is written from the point of view of Moses.

Image by Anita Jawary Pastel on paper April 2022

Finding Freedom, by Anita Jawary, as published by Poetica Passover magazine, April 19, 2022

Years ago, we sang it in praises at the parting of the sea, beat our timbrels in ecstasies to shed our collars, and believed we could dance all the way to Freedom. We pursued a palpable promise, watched it flare and recede on each horizon, a haze by day, a flame by night, and we walked and walked and walked and walked. But even the flutter of butterfly wings is attached to a worm. You can cross 100 seas, wake before the birds to graze on manna sweet, and even pass over the great Jordan itself. At which point can you say you are truly free? Throw off your slave's collar, its shadow still chokes. Walk. Walk. Walk my children. Walk. Remember the promise. Freedom. Freedom will be yours. Soon. Soon. "Do you promise?" they ask. "Do you promise?" Walk. Walk. Walk my children. Walk. Thousands upon thousands walk, faster and faster, on the basis of a promise made long ago, a mother's lullaby by night, a shepherd's lyre by day, and I, an old man, lie down in the shade of a rock and watch, as a stampede of human rags thunders past me, too hungry to see that even Freedom trails her shackles behind her. The last cloud of dust disappears over the horizon. The desert sky, so high, a distant, inscrutable blue and the mountains skip like rams.

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