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A plaint is
an utterance of grief or sorrow, a lamentation. A complaint is an expression of
dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure or resentment. The two words come
from the same root and are remarkably similar, yet also subtly different, and
it is very sad that the former has virtually disappeared from the English
language, save only its misuse in the word plaintiff, which should really be a
complaintiff. This note, on the other hand, is both a plaint and a complaint.
"Jacob and Rachel" by Gustav Heinrich Nacke, 1786-1835
it really so remarkable that a man came to a well
met a woman who he found attractive?
came to the same well.
found a man attractive.
my coming does not even earn a paragraph.
it really so extraordinary that a man waited
years to obtain his love,
slaved, and counted every minute,
to be cheated at the last?
also waited seven years, and slaved,
counted every minute.
also was cheated at the last.
my disappointment does not even merit a sentence.
it really so historic that a man continued waiting,
another seven years,
at the last?
I stop waiting?
my feet not also burn the dust in flight?
my determination is not even worth a mention.
story will be told, my husband, my patriarch.
story will require whole chapters.
I who shared your longing, your dream, your bed,
name would not even be remembered
I had had the same patience
"The Plaint of Rachel" is published in "Welcome To My World, Selected Poems 1973-2013", The Argaman Press. Click here to purchase the book.
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