When I was a child, I loved listening to Mordecai –
he would tell me how he saw Jerusalem
and the Temple’s light with his own eyes.
Although now Chief Minister of the Empire,
he still dreams of returning
to rebuild it and sit with Jerusalem’s wise.
He told me stories of Jacob’s return,
and his fight against an angel
who would not release him until dawn,
and tales of Naomi’s return with Ruth
to the Land where honey was pressed from dates,
where, as a boy, he would climb trees and eat their fruit.
Jacob returned with wives and sons;
Naomi returned with her daughter-in-law;
Mordecai dreams of return –
but I – even after Haman’s hanging –
am caged in Shushan’s courts,
my dreams – strangled, my hopes – trampled
ensnared in shadows.