One of the most beautiful and relevant poems I have read.
For the woman gangraped by the tribe of Benjamin.
Silent you were. You were
silenced. Not a word given you
in the whole merciless narrative.
Not a movement credited you
except one: prelude to the tale,
you returned to your father’s house
for four months. And one more
movement: footnote at the end,
you reach forward a hand.
Between that you are moved
as a pawn by primary players.
Nameless you are. You were
unnamed, called “concubine” and
“slave-woman” . Your “master”
was honoured as a “son-in-law”
yet you were no wife.
The whole story you travel between and with
the men meant to protect you. Father. Master (husband). Host.
They brutally betray you.
Father and son-in-law dine nightly
feast again and again, the two of them
then he takes you and “his other servant”
departs. Arrive in Gibeah.
Dialogue between master and servant.
Dialogue between master…
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