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                                           Contemporary Jewish Writing

Talya Jankovits’ work has appeared in a number of literary journals. Her short story “Undone” in Lunch Ticket was nominated for a Pushcart prize. She holds her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University and resides in Chicago with her husband and four daughters.

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A Woman of Valor
Talya Jankovits


A Woman of Valor? Yes!

A woman of change and power –

who can find her?

Look not at her husband

as no man binds her –

look at her worth,

look at her words,

not the words of man Solomon,

but of ancestral queens –

the feminine divine. Untethered

by chains of marriage,

she is regal, righteous and ready

by her own merit.

She is prophetic words

of wisdom like Devorah - a light

so bright it needs shading beneath palms.

She moves fluid like the dance

of Miriam at the banks of the Red Sea.

Loose robes cloak her ethereal

body in His image, lovelier

than the coat of many colors -

a rainbow of skins; melting pot

of the Kushite woman

with her sisters in celebratory song.

She shakes free the shameful

burdens of barren wombed

foremothers and fills uterine

thought instead with pulsating creative

instead of creation. She is more than

the rib, she is the spine of kindness.

She is giver and go getter. She is

mother to the motherless,

child to the childless.

She heaves plates high,

heavy with sowed fruit of labor.

Dough plowed with hands meaty,

purposeful, a rising braid

of prayer—she offers up

to the heavenly gates

where she sits among the elders

of women wise with long flowing

hair, wrapped and covered

as she grapples with kabalistic spirits,

numerical values and ancient texts.

She is bayit; solid structure

encasing sacred lineage.

Keeper of infinite timeline.

Diadem atop the Torah scrolls.

Who is she? She is psalm poetic

in the form of her own voice.

Oh, valiant woman, you rise

above them all. You rise,

reign and reap your praise.