Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rachel, the Second Wife

Here's the fourth poem from "A Jewish Anthology." My goal in these poems is to present the speakers in a new, unfamiliar light to the reader. Sometimes when we read the Bible, we apply our own assumptions and impressions from childhood Sunday school classes to the people we see there -- even if these assumptions or impressions are not actually in the text. I'm the first to say that these new poems are my own invention of how the people might possibly have felt about the events they experienced -- but the facts themselves are Biblical. Perhaps it may encourage some readers to go back to the Scripture and read it in a fresh way.

Rachel, the Second Wife

My father’s a liar, my husband too.
Considering how they tricked each other
My offense was really a minor one.
If only he had made me a mother,
I’d not have taken anything from home.
Frankly, I was angry. Leah was first
In everything: marriage and then babies.
Laban sold me away, and what was worse,
Wouldn’t let me leave after it was done!
Leah had her babies. What did I have?
I took those stupid wooden household gods
As my share. I knew it would spark his wrath.
And when he finally came after us?
Those two men cared only for their power play.
I took those filthy idols to Canaan
And kept them there until my dying day.

November 18, 2010
copyright by the author

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