A poem for Purim: An Esther in disguise

Scroll of Esther 370 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Scroll of Esther 370
(photo credit: Courtesy)
On Purim we wanted to be Esther with crown and scepter, sequins and satins and gowns of tulle, bangles and baubles and luminous jewels, smart as she was beautiful, brave as she was good, designated by heaven, to reign over the neighborhood.
On Purim we dressed up as Esther sent from Shushan to the harem where the beauties of Persia were pampered, perfumed, and endlessly groomed wondering whom King Achashverosh would choose as his bride.
But only Esther’s grace and charm attracted and disarmed his majesty’s chamberlains, who favored her with sweets and the prettiest things.
And all the time Mordechai, her uncle, knowing the fearsome obligation of her destiny, hovered at the city gates and stood in the wings.
On Purim we imagined we were Esther, but we were oblivious of her sacrifice, how she dreaded his presence in her bed, the besotted king she was forced to wed.
At his beck and call her skin would crawl as she tread gingerly, lest like Vashti she might incur his disfavor and lose her head.
Instead, our fearless queen designed a scheme and foiled Haman’s dream of genocide, the victory he rehearsed reversed, and he and all his sons were hung.
Now through the centuries on this joyous holiday we stamp our feet, and greet his name with cacophony.
On Purim I walk the city’s streets passing the little girls in their finery blushing cheeks, lipstick, and silver wands their skirts brushing the pavement, and basking in their femininity.
Perhaps there’s one, chosen by heaven for a miracle, a little girl, somber, and wise, our Esther in disguise, uncommonly beautiful and smart, who will write another narrative still hidden in the stars, hoist our enemies on their own petard, and lead those of us, not yet here, out of Babylon.
The poet lives in Jerusalem and her email is shorepath@myfairpoint.net