The Child Bride

who knoweth whether thou art come
to the Malkhut for such a time as this
Esther 4:14 (OJB)

It is difficult to know which photo is true.
The one looking at the camera…bangs, curls,
veil pulled taut like a curtain,
No slight curve of lips, no tears blinking in darkened eyes.
Or the other, the one worthy of Hollywood:
face turned over her shoulder,
eyes dancing, mouth ready to smile, veil gathered carelessly to one side.
This is the image shown most often.
Sometimes with features blurred demurely, Sometimes
with the acknowledgement that even the name –
Rawan – designed to protect, not life, but privacy. Rawan,
daughter of a man whose debts she paid. Wife of another
now made notorious for the cruelty of one custom;
one among many neither transported nor understood.
The supermodel pose reveals how far word reaches
and how short faith falls.
It is in this image we instantly,
but mistakenly, recognize communion,
strong wine and wafer, mixing for the first time
on the rough surface of a child’s tongue.



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