Who Sent the Heat

Who sent the heat
that fell upon my husband’s head
and killed him in the harvest field
three years ago
and what will they eat
the children of a city under seige
by a general whose cup overflows

I fasted for three days
then I arose and dressed myself
in crimson silk and necklaces
and bracelets of gold
towards the city gates
I walked alone thru empty streets
and I could feel a thousand eyes
watching me go

they said our city was lost, lost
and it was true that we were surrounded
they said our only hope lay with G-d

but I didn’t pray
I brushed my hair with oil of myrrh
and smiled at the general
while he drank his wine
I wondered as I watched him
did he have a wife at home
and would she grieve for her husband
as I grieved for mine



Judith: beautiful young widow, brilliant military strategist.