Like the sun bearing down at midday,
Pharaoh spoke to me and to my daughter.
My heart beat like a Nubian drum,
and my cheeks, ears, mouth burned at his words:
Kill the male children, every one of them.
But we found courage and deceived him,
lying about our tribal women’s lively ways,
she-foxes that whelped swiftly at night
on rough brick, dried reeds clamped between their teeth.
Kinswomen spurned our craft, we falsely claimed.
Cloaked, we had gone to every mother
to coax each infant into candle-light,
cleanse and rinse, then rub his tender skin
with salt of the earth, salt of the sea.
Dan MacIsaac writes from Victoria, Canada. His poetry has appeared in many journals, including The South Carolina Review, The Malahat Review, Poetica, The MacGuffin, Stand, and The American Journal of Poetry. In 2017, Brick Books published his debut poetry collection, Cries from the Ark.