Kadesh – a poem by e


The word “Kadesh” means holiness, coming from the root for “sacred.”
The Israelites spent most of their 40 years desert 
wilderness wandering in Kadesh, the place.  
–Numbers 13 (paraphrased)

Perhaps there, 
   they dreamt of houses planted into the ground, 
      instead of living in tented camps; 
   they dreamt of tables 	overflowing with 	fruits and meats, 
      instead of just their daily manna rations; 
   they dreamt of the new lives they would start, 
      instead of just their desert wilderness wandering—

   whenever they weren’t weeping and grumbling 
      and their “If only we had died in Egypt!” protests, 
      cursing Moses and murmuring 	against their Maker.

Perhaps there, 
   they were ground to dust, 
      molded into clay, shaped 
         by the Potter, thrown into 
            the furnace, and re-polished.  

Perhaps, it was there that they 
   became the Chosen People 
      before being allowed in the land 
         flowing with 	milk and honey,
            ready for more sandalless holy grounds.  

Their process of becoming 
worthy of holiness and sacredness—
the Israelites 
the Israelites.

e placed first in KoreanAmericanStory’s 2021 Virtual ROAR Story Slam.  She guest blogs for Backbones, promoting disability awareness.  e is an attorney with a disability.  She started a non-profit housing cooperative.  e is writing a poetry collection from the perspective of a woman with a disability living in biblical times.

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