Midge Goldberg


Pharaoh’s Daughter

“Pharaoh’s daughter… made him her son. She named him Moses, explaining, ‘I drew him out of the water.’”
—Exodus 2:10

“Really? I find a baby in the water?
I’ve got to know my father’s killing Jews,
and then some girl appears (dutiful daughter?
loving sister?), there with helpful news—

she might just know a wet nurse for the baby.
What am I? Awkward plot device? Convenient
miracle? Much later, they say maybe
it was an act of faith, and they are lenient,

marry me off, give me a name. Fuck you.
Batyah, daughter of God.’ I‘m Moses’ mother—
skinned knees, homework, and then one day he knew,
and left behind our life to lead another.

I always had a future and a past—
It’s only God who made me seem half-assed.”

Midge Goldberg’s collection To Be Opened After My Death is being published in August ’21 by Kelsay Books. She received the Richard Wilbur Poetry Award for her book Snowman’s Code, and the Nemerov Sonnet Award. Her poems and translations have appeared in Romanticism: 100 Poems, The Hopkins Review, and A Writer’s Almanac. She lives in Chester, New Hampshire.