For Patience in Hospital
What bandage or what drop of water,
chosen for Jerusalem’s daughter,
can bind a rising hurricane?
Or heal the twisted bone of pain?
Or where is the loose soothing sand
in which may drift her burning hand?
Israel’s son and Israel’s daughter
in the Sinai desert sought her –
but locked up in a lonely grain
was her arid tortured brain.
Nor could she freely countermand
the blade of sharpness in her hand.
Why, for the chosen city’s daughter,
should a doctor’s kit be brought her?
There’s no oasis in the sand
with water that will cleanse her hand.
No hospital or witches’ cauldron
turns charred skin a light sun-golden.
Razor wind, tooth-sharp water,
the storm begins its casual slaughter.
What statement can transform the pain
that burns the sides out of her brain
where life’s sand tumbles steady-golden?
She looks after Israel’s children.
Israel’s scampering son and daughter
mother thought her, sister thought her;
and since they never will complain
that trust of kinship was in vain –
a sign may of miraculous hand
be born the city will understand.
No bandage and no drop of water
reconciles Jerusalem’s daughter.
She will endure the hurricane,
nor drop the twisted bone of pain,
till children find, in desert sand,
her name, written by her own hand.