Lilith's Dance

Michelene Wandor


This poem was published in The dybbuk of delight: an anthology of Jewish women's poetry (1995). Thanks to Nora Lee Mandel for bringing them to my attention.

    Lilith sins?

    Lilith sings
    Lilith speaks many a cross word
    Lilith has an anger like love
    like a procession of pillars
    of fire
    Lilith has the delight
    of a woman scorned
    he modeled me
    I was his clay thing
    into me he breathed life
    I became his golem
    I went forth and I destroyed
    havoc my middle name

    I am the dybbuk of delight
    I slip into the souls
    of those who need me

    perhaps you breathed
    just a little
    too much life, a sniffle too long
    but once tasting the air
    I would not be still, not
    be silent, not return
    to my feet of clay

    I will not gather dust
    I do not cower beneath cobwebs
    I do not fear the hot streets
    I walk
    in the middle
    of the pavement

    I do not hug the shade
    of cowardly buildings
    I do not stay in my ghetto
    but I strut and stride
    into the ghetto
    of men
    I interrupt
    the invisible universal
    which denies men their souls
    and women their being

    I do not creep

    I do not crawl


    I am proud

    I have taken the cloth
    from my mirror
    of mourning

    for your birthday
    (if gods have birthdays)
    I shall give you
    a mirror

Poem: © Copyright 1995, Michelene Wandor

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