The Other Women – By Tali Cohen Shabtai

Pic by Maria Borsenko



I cannot reach their output
for now
Every woman carries within her a month of
the Hebrew letter Tet * in the counting of some 270 days **
for birth potential.

Every woman receives support from Greek mythology of the goddess of marriage, motherhood and childbirth –
But not everyone realizes
And no, it is of no interest that she is the Queen of
to those who did not choose this
path, especially as Zeus was pushed into the

And if we to be are more
every woman is entitled to a ‘birth grant’
from the National Insurance Institute
for monthly allowances
between the legs
and those women who absorbed the sperm, of course.
And received

a fetus as a gift.

But it’s not just these women we are dealing with
who experience the other woman
in their image as a biblical figure
such as Peninnah
the wife of
who was preoccupied
with the infertility of

Or alternatively the other woman
is like
Leah, the sister of
the matriarch Rachel
who had many sons
while Rachel was
and regretted that her sister was granted with giving birth to
multiple tribes.

How I’m going to
explain to you?

I feel like
and Rachel the Poetess

Can you understand that the yearning for a child that cannot be realized – is a human archetype?
I will give birth to you anew, my love.

“A son I wish I had”****.

A son.

* Number 9 in numerology.
** 270 is the estimated calculation of nine months of pregnancy.
*** Hera (in Greek Ἥρα) is the queen of Olympus, wife and sister of Zeus, head of the Gods in Greek mythology. The Goddess of marriage, motherhood and birth, and patroness of married women. Among the Romans she was known as Juno.
**** From Rachel the Poetess’s poem “Barren,” written in 1927.


About the Author

Tali Cohen Shabtai was born in Jerusalem, Israel, and is an international poet of high esteem with works translated into many languages. She is the author of three bilingual volumes of poetry, “Purple Diluted in a Black’s Thick”(2007), “Protest” (2012) and “Nine Years From You”(2018). A fourth volume is forthcoming in 2021. She has lived many years in Oslo, Norway, and in the U.S.A. She currently lives in Chicago.