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The Egyptian Baby - Marianna Boncek

I think the real reason we eat matzah for a week is we still feel guilty about all those Egyptian babies ~ from a post on Facebook during Passover

What happened here?

Did the Angel of death stop, confused by the red scrawl?

“Is it or isn’t it, ram’s blood?” he pondered.

Or was it just someone graffitiing with a red Sharpie?

Unsure if he should pass you by or kill you,

he decided to err on the safe side.

You, the first born son,

were born without lower jaw bone.

Because of this deformity

you could not nurse

or breathe.

They tethered your soul

to the earth with machines

that breathe for you

and push nourishment

into your baby belly.

We just don’t know

if we should wail the Egyptian mothers

or should we rejoice?


Marianna Boncek is an author and teacher. Her books The Spooky Hudson Valley and Gone Missing in New York, published by Schiffer Books and her young adult novel, Ajar, published by Mélange Books. Her plays have been featured in venues in the Hudson Valley. Her poems and short stories have been published in a variety of magazines and literary journals. She is a regular reader in Hudson Valley poetry venues. Her hobbies include hiking, travelling and searching out the perfect bookstore. She currently lives in the Hudson Valley with her partner, Dave. They spend time researching lost local history: a passion they both share.

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