Moses is six days old when Miryam sends him down the river; he is doomed, and lost, and abandoned, and uncut. She crouches over his basket and regrets this with a burn not solely her own; Miryam is not so old herself, but she is old enough. There are her feelings, and there are the others, and for once, they are in accord.
Moses is uncut. Moses will never grow to be the Hebrew he is. Moses sleeps peacefully as he drifts away. No one is ever quite their brother’s keeper.
This night is different from all other nights; never again does she send a brother down the river. Of course, it is far from the last time she masks her sobs with the rustle of bulrushes.
Aaron hates his brother. This will not be written, this will not be told; when Aaron dies, the house of Israel weeps, for he is good and pure and shackled to peace. He is a kind man, Aaron. His bitterness is a salve, in its way. He sees Moses and knows he is the Prophet; he sees Moses and knows he brings Deliverance; he sees Moses and recalls the other shackles, those that Moses did not wear. He is a good man, Aaron. He speaks of peace. He hates his brother.
Miryam does not ever tell him she knows, of course. That is not the role of women, who are meant to observe, but never speak; this is not the role of women, whose bodies are built to be fruitful, whose mouths are built to be closed.
It would be hypocritical, in any case. She sees the shackles too, when she looks at Moses; when she looks at Aaron, she sees the nights he never spent, the refusals he never had to keep from uttering. She is a good sister. She hates them both.
The men come, and they hold her, and she does not scream. This night is not different from all other nights.
The river runs to blood, and Miryam bleeds with it, the plague of life thick betwixt her legs. Moses laughs as the water turns; she is in the bulrushes and he is miles from her, but she hears it all the same, his laughter. She has always heard him, in those moments when he is flush with his own holiness. He always laughs. This will not be written; this will not be told.
He has never heard her, of course. This is her due; this is her duty. The river runs to blood. Tonight is different from all other nights. There is darkness on the horizon. There is a croaking in her ears. The frogs are here. The locusts are coming.
There is no tzaraath, only Moses and a need for authority. History is written by the victors; Miryam is a good sister. It is nothing against the weight of a basket in the river, and she hides in accordance with custom, lets him “heal” her when the moment comes.
Her skin has felt not her own for years, in any case. The tzaraath would have been a relief, really. It is the wound from which no one heals, and Miryam holds sympathy with cyclical stories.
Water follows her. This is her curse, worse than the prophecy, worse than the river of blood that runs for her still. She will never be free. She will never escape. Her well runneth over, and her cup remains empty.
She sent her brother down the river. It is for Yahweh to know where she sent herself.
Moses is still uncut, and no one is quite their brother’s keeper. The Egyptians bring out their dead, and the bread doesn’t rise. The sea parts, and Miryam weeps.
This will be written, this will be told. She sung for the woman, the scrolls will read, and it is truth. The songs of woman have long been composed on agony. Lamentations have always been beautiful.
This night is different from all other nights. This night the bread is flat; this night the herbs are bitter; this night we dip twice; this night we recline. This night is different from all other nights; this night we recall the suffering of our people. This night is different from all other nights; this night we pour the wine from our glass, leave Elijah an empty cup. This night is different from all other nights; there is no need to state it. We already know.
This night is different from all other nights; we remember.
This night is no different from all other nights; we remember wrong.