Deborah L. Humphreys

deborah d'onofrio

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she used sit under deborah’s palm between ramah and bethel and they would come to her to have their disputes settled. judges 4:4


how do you do it, sit

forever, quietly in the embrace

of hardwood and leaf, listen

to the silly battles of cricket

and frog in a chilly swamp

over dominion of night


by day you keep your hands busy

snap beans hitting the pot

with the sound of a slow

heavy rain against the roof


women come before noon, form

a loose circle around like a ring

of candles placed over sacred ground

a steady wind pushes them close

black and auburn strands tangle, red

flames twist and rise and troubles jump

into the center, out from open

aprons, swollen hands, sleepy eyes

they devil-dance themselves into exhaustion


something you have drawn in dust

is carried in the breeze, sings:


you bear my name, be worthy