Poems by Alicia Jo Rabins

The Cup at the Side of the Bed


I followed the puddle to the cloud

I followed the cloud to the well

I followed the well to the cup

At the side of the bed

Where my sister lay laboring

Her voice was my voice

But her story was not my story

I could not help her

Across the country I sat vigil

Counting petals and reciting the lessons

Calendula for the skin

Oatstraw for the nerves

Peapod for holding

Cloud for letting go


Goodbye to the One I Was


To the one who greeted me in the mirror

To the one who waited around the corner

To the one who quit this and that

Who started this and that regularly

To the one who got everything she wanted

Extrovert introvert

Tart body pillow of the body


Small belly

Cute belly

To the one who left

A Sumerian storm demon

Named Lilitu behind

To the one who carried my babies

Through the darkness

The one who named them

Who climbed the scaffolding

Of her own heart to offer sunflowers to the angry gods

Goodbye to the one who was alone

Whose hand the doula held

To birth stories

I bury those minutes in the garden

As the baby grows free

Of his babyness

I grow free

Of self


Photo: Lucinda Roanoke

Photo: Lucinda Roanoke

Alicia Jo Rabins is a poet, musician and Torah teacher based in Portland, Oregon. Her poetry book, Divinity School, was awarded the 2015 APR/Honickman First Book Prize and she tours internationally with her band, Girls in Trouble. www.aliciajo.com






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