Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Judah, Here I’ll Stand

By Jen Hunt
After reading the chapter on Tamar in Vindicating the Vixens, along with Martin Luther, A Spiritual Biography.

How he took me for a ride
Judah of the Lion’s pride
Took me from my father’s yard
Wed me, cruel and hard
To his first, who died as evil men go
But there did not end my woe

Gave me to his brother next
Used, from every blessing kept
Seed spilled, hope spilled
He died too
Still my sorrows were not through

Blamed for deaths I didn’t cause
Kept from common decency’s laws
Shelved, sent homeward, long alone
Hollow-promised the youngest one
Left to wither
Left to rot
Left, without a child or plot

Years until I understood
This is a promise
He’ll never make good

Now I hear his wife has died
How poetically fate’s applied
Off to sheer sheep with the guys
If I know him well, those shifty eyes

See him there
Spying the telltale veil
Smelling the spices
Starting to fail
Widow’s gown off,
Here I’ll stand
Till propositioned
By the weak-willed man.
Doesn’t even see it’s me
How buzzed or callous can he be?
He screwed me thrice
I’ll screw him o’re
Though nothing could ever settle the score

Now I have him, table’s turned
Stole my life, now mine returns
As pledge I clasp
His staff, ring, cord,
Not taking chances anymore
Goes as stealth'ly as he came
Yet in my hands the Lion’s mane

Widow’s garb back
Just wait and see
What this John’ll do to me

When they find
I’m expecting
Just as expected
The two-faced father
Of my two sons
Orders my doom
Why his one word can kill us three
Seems patriarchy’s worst to me
One question proves his contribution to my womb:
Tell me, whose
This ring and staff?

Judah, humbled
Owns his part
Calls me righteous
Gains fresh start
Fesses up to his pretense,
And is restored to Joseph one scene hence

True, I’m spared and double-blessed
One child for each husband laid to rest--
But my reputation’s been

Perez broke out; Zerah next
Even I broke out,
--If not my sex--

Judah, he got out quite nicely
No one thinks of his sin twice, he’s
Touted as the tribe of God
While I remain a maligned broad
Time my name got redressed
Tamar, the Righteous, says it best

That you don’t see my true reflection
Is the mess we women are still pressed in

If Judah’s commendation be not enough
Nor Ruth and Boaz’s blessing
This then is my highest prize:
Here I stand
Within His Word
And within His tree.
What have been gi'en for Judah’s shaft?
Christ’s genealogy
The final laugh