A Feminist Poem: In Defense of Lilith

IN DEFENSE OF LILITH

Part One.

From the beginning
You are defiled
By all that would
Call your name.

From Mesopotamia,
Between the two rivers
The Tigris and Euphrates,
Like your two white breasts
That fed the soil between
The mountains and deserts
You were demoness.

They gave you
The head of an owl
The feet of a bird,
But not just any bird,
But the malevolent Zu-bird
Eater of man-flesh
And chaos maker.

In the Bible
You were Adam’s
First wife,
But he put you aside,
And you were seen unclean.

In the Talmud
You fared little better,
Cast out into the desert,
Again a demon, a sorceress
Unclean and to be shunned.

In Sumerian myths
You were a succubus
Sucking dry the seed of men,
Belaboring the birth pangs of women
Killing the infants you caught unseen
From the birth canal.

Your breasts gave forth no milk
Nor your womb fruit
Your mouth gave off howls of obscenity
And your hair like serpents.

Amulets and prayers were worn and given
Sacrifices were made for your banishment.
Your name was whispered in curses and threats
By the insane,
And women were burned in your name
On bonfires of male and church vanity.

Enough, Lilith.
This madness will stop here
For your worth and value has been weighted
Only by a part of humanity.

The rest of us know,
Embrace you,
Welcome you.
We are your inheritors
Without the deceit of men.

As you squat to the earth,
Your genitals revealed,
We know you strike fear
Into the faint hearts of men
We know your beauty sullied,
Your power reaches to the Sun
And your eyes reflect
The tides of the Moon.

You bear the hatred and fear of Men.
But Women have opened their eyes.
Selah.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2008

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