Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2015  v14n1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Rosalie Ruth Moffett

Sometimes a twin absorbs her sibling
in the womb. My mother bled a little,
so maybe I did this. I knew

even then what sympathy was: another
discomfort. Nonetheless, they named me Ruth
which is a kind of compassion

nobody wants anymore—the surviving half
of the pair of words is ruthless.
My ecoterrorism handbook says

some plants come back forever,
through anything. I’ve planted a few stands
of bamboo where they’ll grow

through the floor of the new strip mall.
Like Ruth, the Moabite, I desire
to be something that can't be

gotten rid of easily. Loyal, she gleaned
in the grain, and maybe something went on
with Boaz on the threshing floor in the dark

one morning. All this I read in the Bible
which is a kind of handbook
that helps people name babies. I miss, I guess,

the one who should have been Ruth, whose name
I stole and wore. I took a little
of her as collateral damage.  end  

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