The Birth of Faith

by Rosanne Osborne

Jochebed felt the kick of her growing 
baby, and that kick was but a reminder 
of what his delivery would mean to her. 
She stood to lose him if she had no plan 
for his safety. Her hands moved in circles 
of fear, reflecting her uneasy mind 

as she ground the meal, occupied her mind
with the care and feeding of her growing
family. She tried to avoid the circles
of friends, frenzied by Pharaoh’s reminder
that they were subject to his worrisome plan
to kill the male Hebrew babies she and her

friends were bearing. She would go to her
private place tomorrow and let her mind
release itself. Perhaps she could make a plan
that would confound the hysteria growing
in her heart, waiting as constant reminder
of the mesh that entangled them in circles,

choked them and robbed them, circling
like buzzards that waited each night in her
dreams. Every turn she took was a reminder
of the limitation of her small mind. 
Yet, she had to believe in the growing 
conviction that God would supply a plan.

Soaking in the Nile the next day, a plan
took shape. The reeds began to dance circles
in her imagination and the growing
image of a basket dominated her
consciousness. Its pattern in her mind
adopted a woven shape, a reminder

of the way reeds could be used, a reminder
that God was in control and that his plan
had transfigured itself in her mind.
She was enchanted by the way it circled
her being, freed her fear, and launched her
hope, hope built on the nine months of growing.

Jochebed’s fertile mind birthed a plan
that was a reminder of the growth
in female survival that circled her.

An English professor, Methodist pastor, clarinetist, and poet, Rosanne Osborne holds the Ph.D. in English from the University of Alabama, the MFA from Spalding University, and the MRE and MDiv from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. She grew up in Missouri but has lived most of her adult life in Louisiana. Her work has appeared in Tar River Poetry, Alabama Review, Christian Century, Ruminate, Thema, Penwood Review, and The Village Pariah.

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