Salted the Nile with her Tears

By Kelley Nikondeha, o

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: “Striated Heron,” Nile River, Luxor, Egypt, Becky Matsubara CC, flickr.com/beckymatsubara.

riginally printed in Geez magazine on Mothering.

A cry broke the early morning silence and interrupted the royal daughter’s bath.

Already knee-deep in the river, she knew instantly that it was a Hebrew baby. On the opposite shore a mother, exhausted from the crossing, dragged her wet body out of the river and collapsed – arms now empty.

As an adopted child, I grew up mesmerized by Moses with only a cursory interest in his mothers. Sunday school lessons didn’t help, offering a sentimentalized characterization of these women – the one who let go and the other who saved the boy through adoption. But as I grew, so did my understanding of the mothers. I learned their story existed against a socio-political backdrop complete with hard edges and harder choices. Continue reading