Niddah Palette

It is not red, she has read,
But wine mixed crimson in a goblet
Or the radiance of saffron
Or the midnight black of ink.

And if red, then red
Like the pricked finger of an unwed lad
Pointing at the one he desires.
As she slaps at her lice-ridden hair.

A solemn merchant in black gabardine
Frowns upon his choice.
He stands before a slaughtered ox
And speaks of olives, ravens, pitch.

They say that blood is born of brute desire.
She weeps in an orchard of pomegranates
Redolent of autumn — and defeat.
Their leaf-fringed legend haunts about her shape.

One thought on “Niddah Palette

  1. Maggie Anton says:

    In an amazing coincidence [or maybe it's bashert], the current Daf Yomi cycle concludes almost exactly on the pub date for RAV HISDA'S DAUGHTER. In honor of this, I've committed to doing Daf Yomi for the final Tractate Niddah, as an exercise in concentrated Talmud study as well as in solidarity with all those involved in Daf Yomi learning. I see that you're drashing on Niddah – are you doing Daf Yomi as well? I'm trying to post about my experience on my blog every few days.


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