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Dinah and Batsheva Say #MeToo

The silencing of women’s voices and appropriation of their bodies is not new. These poems look for dignity in the silences of Dinah and Batsheva and ask readers to imagine the part of their experiences which has been lost to us.


Who tailored

this alteration of a dream,

to seize Dinah,

Before her father heard and her brothers echoed,

Who took her without words before,

only after?


Jacob’s sons reasoned

In the nerveless refuge of revenge.

    How shall we deal with our sister?

We have seams of earth,

flocks, water, and swords.

She holds nothing but a man’s eye.


Silent, when he found her,

cloaked her,

stopped her.

She had words before,

delivered to other daughters,

when she could still speak.


Dinah’s brothers hauled their pain

and silenced the city.

Jacob wrestled and learned who he was,

but Dinah was gone.



She could feel the sun

and the dust lifting

from the stones on the roof

spelling words of war.


From her window

she watched the Law

carried like an ageing father

too tired to remember his sons.


Batsheva’s eyes were half closed.

She saw promises of cornered fields,

angled houses,

nights saved by water.


On this day she was alone.

There was no one in the city,

as she drew inside the picture

of a woman bathing,

turning her waist in the king’s tent.


Image of painting “Bathsheba at Bath” by Paolo Veronese via Wikimedia

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