Jochebed and the Nile

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“Jochebed and the Nile,” Ensign, Mar. 1982, 69

Jochebed and the Nile

1982 Eliza R. Snow Poetry Contest 2nd Place Winner

She stood beside the river twice:

At first her understanding of the plan

could look toward the future

as at those times, when looking south,

she thought of waters of an endless clarity,

as at those times her fingers,

through the pitch, could clearly feel

the pattern of papyrus for her son,

child and ark the raw materials of the Pentateuch.

The second time, while Moses

toddled to delight the Pharaoh’s child,

there was no design except the water

in its flood when, brown and red,

it took the land like sorrow,

flushing fields and rows and plains,

its future gifts awash

in the streaming of the moment.