A WOMAN OF VALOR
“35 soldiers on active duty and several civilian employees at an air base have been conducting sexual relations with a 14-year-old girl over the past year. Many of the suspects claimed during questioning that the girl had told them she was of enlistment age.”
places your head on his naked lap
and one might think
you weren’t being forced but rather
thanked and your head stroked.
The second slides slowly down your back
the feelings are new
and you can still concentrate.
The third inserts three fingers, says
“Don’t move.” You don’t,
the map of greater Israel
in your eyes.
The fourth moves aside a pile of reports
on air accidents in the south
and takes you from behind.
A great love you think
a great love scorches me
and won’t let up.
You raise and lower your arms
your body stretches to the edge of the sky
your hands cupped for the rain.
The unstoppable fifth and sixth
course into you.
The arrogant salt of the earth, avoiding eyes,
those waiting their turn. Soon your body may look beautiful
even to you.
Translator's Note: A Woman of Valor, “Eshet Hayil” in Hebrew, is a hymn to the woman of the house which is customarily recited on Friday evenings, after returning from synagogue and before sitting down to the Shabbat evening meal. It is a poem twenty-two verses long (Proverbs 31:10-31) and begins: “A woman of valor who can find? For her price is far above rubies.” (The Jewish Publication Society Bible)