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How the light gets in


i.m. Leonard Cohen and cf. John 4:5-42



The other women had been

and gone before I lifted

my water jar, walked out

in the midday heat.


I met him

at the well’s edge.

He asked for a drink

and I gave him backchat.


He offered a wellspring

and I thought of stone,

He said, call your husband,

and I spoke the truth.


I’d had five husbands,

lived with a man

who wasn’t the sixth,

set the caged dove free


so anyone could hear

what the well echoed

and the Messiah

already knew as he sat,


watched, read

my heart’s dark places,

shone a path

through its brokenness.



© Sheila Jacob

Picture 10025091, illustration by William Hole, circa 1890, image copyright Mary Evans



Sheila Jacob was born and raised in Birmingham, and lives with her husband in North Wales. She has three children and five grandchildren. She resumed writing poetry in 2013 after a long absence and considers herself to be an old new poet. She’s had poems published in Sarasvati, The Dawntreader, The Cannon’s Mouth, Clear Poetry, The Poetry Shed and on The Poetry School Blog. She has recently self-published a collection of poems, Through My Father’s Eyes, forming a memorial to her father.