At The Pharisee's Recollection

She was, truly, a gorgeous girl;
her looks were poetry.
And when we jerked her from his arms,
her fear was good to see.

What did she know about the Law,
or technicality?
As far as she knew, we had caught
her in adultery.

We dragged her to the sunlit square.
Each man took up a stone.
The tears were glistening on her cheeks,
as she cowered there alone.

But she was not quite all alone,
as such a slut should be.
Beside a broken, old wall sat
Jesus of Galilee.

Him it was whom we sought to trap;
and, thus, brought out jailbait.
Her life was useless anyhow;
she had not long to wait.

I know she really loved that boy,
whom we allowed to flee.
And for his sake, she faced, alone,
the final penalty.

"Master," we asked, "What should we do?
"We caught her in the act."
Her frightened sobs confirmed our words,
and verified the fact.

The Law was clear upon this case.
What else could he assert?
We snickered as he just looked down
and wrote upon the dirt.

"Yes, write a few words in the dirt,"
so ran our minds' one thought.
"We trapped this girl, and you are next:
"the both of you are caught."

Then, somewhat leisurely, he stood.
He seemed so much more tall
than I remembered, and I felt
a growing sense of awe---

although my heart was hard against
his words, and that girl's tears.
His silence seemed, just then, to pierce
us---sharp as sharpest spears.

Our plan, that seemed quite firm before,
did not now seem so sure.
And then . . . as if he was her shield . . .
he stepped in front of her,

and stared at us with such a look
I never want to see
again in this life (and it burns,
yet, in my memory).

Then he spoke.  And his anger was
righteous, and strong, and pure.
He said, "Let him who has no sin
"cast the first stone at her."

His hand, upon her, soothed her cries.
But not one stone was cast.
The oldest of us turned away
first; and the youngest, last.

Meanwhile, he spoke gently to her,
and not as to some whore.
He said, "I do not---no, not I---
"condemn you.  Sin no more."

She did not know what he, who was
a mighty prophet, knew---
that just a few days past, she had
conceived a baby:  You.

Has it been really thirteen years?
It seems like yesterday
that we abused your mother so.
But go now, go your way.

Your eyes are much too much like hers.
Go, and leave me alone.
Daughter of sin, you make me wish
that I had cast my stone.





Author's Notes/Comments: 

John Rice, in his commentary on John's Gospel (p. 181) suggests that the charge of adultery may have been questionable, and that the act itself may have been pre-arranged as a seduction simply for the purpose of creating the trap for Jesus.

The astute reader will, I am sure, notice the pun in the 9th line.

I have used some poetic license in the speaker's quotation of the words Jesus spoke to the girl afterward.  I cannot now cite the source, a Greek commentary, which mentioned the Greek emphatic negative (and described it as equivalent to "I do not---no, not I---") in another passage of John's Gospel.  (If someone can provide the source of the reference, I will gladly cite it here; as the translation of that construction, so beautifully poetic, belongs to a scholar of Biblical Greek, and not to me.)

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yellowspecks's picture

This is wonderful!
Also a great fit for this series.
The story is facinating, and the ending simply brilliant.