Arrow & Bow

The arrow leaves the bow and goes off on its own
and when the arrow’s gone the bow remains alone


My little grain of rice, my little blueberry
my fig, my pear, my orange – how you grew in me


My father said to me when I was leaving home
a princess never cries even when she’s alone


So I’ll be over here and you stay over there
as long as we both breathe this unforgiving air


Based on a commentary in which Hagar was actually a princess who ended up as Abraham’s handmaiden and second wife. This is about the moment in the wilderness when Hagar thinks her son Ishmael is dying of thirst and sends him an arrow’s-length away (Genesis 21). How impossible it can feel to face the suffering of those we love.