Linda Hepner

Veteran Poet - 1,166 Points (London)

Dinah's Diary, Day 1 - Poem by Linda Hepner

The prince on camels roaring past our tent
With spear aloft, robes flying in his ride,
Brought boys out running, chasing the event
Like circus acts while we veiled girls inside
Hearts beating fast, peeked out, but I resent
That I’ve been told to stay here and to hide
Because the prince and hoodlums are intent
To cause a stir and make our worlds collide.

I tore apart the threadbare doorway and
Was dazzled by the speed and cries and dust;
Shielding my eyes from sunlight with my hand
I saw the prince and felt I might combust:
He stopped and stared at me, dismounted, spanned
The space between us like a jousting thrust;
I saw his wide blue eyes, his mute demand;
And in an instant knew the meaning: lust.

His virtual spear flew forth and pierced my heart…
My bloody heart flew forth and met his eyes…
We had no need to speak, we had the art
To hunt in mid-air, as the falcons flies.
An eon passed, a second to impart
The message “We shall meet again, my prize! ”
Was interrupted, “Shechem, let’s depart! ”
He leaps onto his camel which denies
Us one last look and gallops to the skies.

A hand comes out and drags me to the dark.
A looming presence, noonday at his back,
My brother Levi, menacing and stark
Growls, “If I ever see that pagan pack
Come here again, they’ll be the fatal mark
Of bloody murder, we’ll dog down their track
And it won’t be a youthful roughneck lark -
You’ll hear their necks and skulls and cocks go crack.”

My guts are screaming, I must meet him, we
Are destined for each other, I will find
A way to join him, I shall somehow flee
Because until I saw him I was blind!
The veil is lifted, now my eyes can see…
I must desert, leave all these tents behind
And if it means farewell to family,
So be it, let the Israelites unwind!

In future years a poet will redress
The wrongs done to the women of our tribe.
Escaping from her father Shylock’s stress,
Blissful in Belmont she will wed; the scribe
Will let her leave her prison home, he’ll bless
Her union with freedom! I subscribe
To any choice of god or speech or dress,
My life as daughter dreadful to describe.

I’ll wait until the pagan girls come by
Bearing their baskets brimming with their wares,
I’ll leave with them and tell a little lie:
I’ve gone to do some shopping at the fair
And will be back by dark, it’s not goodbye
So please don’t worry, there’s no need for prayers,
You know that I’ll be safe, so please don’t try
To let my brothers play at hounds and hares.

My father sees me as a veiled blur;
Thinks of me only when he counts his sons.
He’s never loved my mother, he’d prefer
One child by Rachel than ten Leah re-runs.
My brothers keep me buried; it will stir
Them badly I’ve escaped their nervy guns,
But they’ll convert Shechem, loved like a brother:
It’s only the uncircumsized one shuns.

Comments about Dinah's Diary, Day 1 by Linda Hepner

  • Linda Hepner (11/12/2015 5:36:00 PM)

    Desire, oppression, violence, wishful thinking. (Report) Reply

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  • (3/29/2006 6:34:00 PM)

    I see The Red Tent has been mentioned already (terrific book though) , so I'll just say thanks for another intelligent, enjoyable poem from you.
    Anna xxx
    (Report) Reply

  • Linda Hepner (12/17/2005 8:36:00 PM)

    No guys, I have not read The Red Tent! Thanks for asking me - when I get round to it I will tell you (or write another poem) ! (Report) Reply

  • (12/15/2005 6:56:00 PM)

    I really enjoyed this Linder, thanks for sharing it. 10 from Tai (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, December 15, 2005

Poem Edited: Thursday, June 10, 2010

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