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.