The 2River View AuthorsPoemsPDFPast Issues2River



Jill Bergkamp


Lot’s Daughters

They had wanted to stoop,
save each granule of salt in their sleeves,

carry their mother
with them,

but their father was calling them
to run.

They found a place
          to hide, a cave,
          at the end of the world,

dark with stalactites and shadows.

There was
an underground lake, that wound
through passageways, like the blood

          that coursed
          through this last line

of girl-children.

Daughters, who whispered among themselves,

drew their stories on the walls,
and knowing
what was at the end—

poured wine for their father


Rebekah’s Blessing

Jacob nursed gently, held to my breast
eyes watchful, anchoring himself
to me, while his brother ran off

to find sticks, or play games of battle
with Isaac. My husband
spoke no ill word of his father,

but I knew that something happened once
between them, that changed my lover
from a boy to a man who could not

walk near a mountain without trembling.
I took this knowledge into my hands;
gathered the clothes still warm

from Esau’s body, sloughed skin
from the goats I cured,
and cloaked Jacob

in his brother’s scent.
I knew this was the way
to mend the fracture set by a father

who would sacrifice one son
for another, one child
for his God


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