I would like to tell you
I acted out of deep faith
or that God sent me a dream
to prophesy this helpless baby
would grow up to deliver us
all out of Egypt.
But I can't.

Year after year
Shifrah and I struggled
to help mothers push newborns
out of their bodies and
into the world.
Hour after hour
we used the secret knowledge
of our sacred calling,
gentle words of encouragement,
our own powerful hands.
Oh the joy and triumph
when a wet head finally
crosses over, the transport
in every mother's eyes,
pain behind her now.

Besides, Jochebed
was my neighbor: could I
kill her son?

Hebrew cries were camel grunts
to Pharaoh's ears
so when we told him
our women delivered their babies
before we midwives could arrive
- that Hebrew women, unlike Egyptian women,
poured babies from their bodies
like wine from a jug - 
that stubborn, distrustful, arrogant man
believed us.

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