Beans And Birthrights
by Loretta Diane Walker

Genesis 25:30-31 30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some
of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.)
31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”

When my head broke through the flush light of birth,
you grasped my heel, tried to return me
to the dark plot of your desires.
Father preferred me, mother you,
a strong wedge.
We both skirt the edge
of that river and study each other’s weaknesses.

When the feral dog of hunger roamed inside me,
I sold what I could not hold to leash him.
You bought my first cry with a pot of beans.
I left your table full with lentils.
You left our home with my hate
hanging over your head.

When you were a smear on the horizon,
you sent me bleating gifts of fear:
camels, cows, bulls, donkeys.
It was not their blood, bones and flesh I desired;
it was yours. I wanted to feel the strong pulse
of your heart thrumming against the allayed walls of mine.

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