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Published:August 7th, 2011 21:10 EST
Cast the First Stone

Cast the First Stone

By Ed Roberts

Sometimes people ask what a poem cost

 

This one took 20 years

 

15 minutes

 

4 pieces of paper

 

And thousands of tears

 

 

 

 

Cast the First Stone

 

 

 

It took days and weeks

 

To gather courage

 

To set aside her fear

 

To finally be willing to put everything she had

 

On the line

 

Finally she had decided

 

To do the one thing she needed most

 

She went to her pastor

 

To ask for help

 

 

 

He met her in his office

 

Sat behind his desk

 

And listened

 

Listened as she told him

 

How her father would come home from work

 

Often late

 

More than often

 

Drunk

 

How he would yell

 

And yes, at times scream at them

 

And from there

 

How it most often

 

Got worse

 

 

 

He rose from his chair

 

Walked over to a bookshelf along the wall

 

And removed a copy of the Bible

 

Which he opened on the desk in front of her

 

He showed her scriptures

 

The man was the head of the household

 

He was the ruler of his domain

 

It was his duty and his right

 

To punish his children

 

For these were the words of God

 

Later

 

This man

 

This servant to the Lord

 

Did the one thing

 

That from me and her

 

He will never gain forgiveness

 

He told her father what had happen

 

Over and over again

 

She paid for his sin

 

And with every strike

 

Even the Angels in Heaven

 

Cried

 

 

Years passed

 

She had grown up

 

Gotten married and had children

 

Moved away and separated herself

 

As many ways as she could from her father

 

And the Church

 

 

 

Another day came

 

There was a new couple in the neighborhood

 

Her and her husband had wanted to make new friends

 

She fought only a little

 

When they asked if they would join them

 

One Sunday morning

 

To visit their Church

 

She wanted to make her husband happy

 

She wanted to feel like she could belong

 

Belong to a group of people

 

Maybe gain more friends

 

She set aside her pain

 

Her fear

 

And together

 

They went

 

 

 

The music was beautiful

 

The choir sang with such devotion

 

People not only sat in their pews

 

But they reached out to strangers

 

Letting them know that they were glad

 

That they were there

 

Then the sermon came

 

 

 

A man

 

Dressed in a fine suit

 

With great dedication

 

Walked up

 

And stood behind his pulpit

 

He presented his Bible for all to see

 

Opened it

 

Placed it on the stand in front of him

 

And began to preach

 

 

 

He spoke of how a woman should be plain

 

She should be leery

 

On how she dressed herself

 

How she should refrain

 

From using makeup

 

Or perfume

 

How she should cover herself

 

Never expose her legs or cleavage

 

And in most cases

 

It was a woman`s fault

 

When she was raped

 

 

 

These words tore at her

 

Ripped their way through her heart

 

To her very soul

 

She remembered the words of a close friend

 

How she told her how she had been beaten

 

Raped in her own home

 

In front of her daughter

 

There was no escaping this

 

But this time

 

She was not alone

 

Her husband reached over

 

Took her hand

 

And together

 

In tears they left

 

No

 

For them

 

It didn`t matter that the sermon was not over

 

What mattered most

 

Is that they left

 

Before someone was forced to pay

 

 

 

I hope you understand

 

These are not mere words on paper

 

This is not a tale of fantasy

 

About a make-believe woman

 

These words

 

Are about one

 

Whom I would gladly lay down everything for

 

Even my life

 

This woman

 

How suffered so badly at the hands of others

 

Is the second beat of my very heart

 

Her name is Letha

 

She is my wife

 

 

 

Letha is a Wiccan

 

Many people would stand in judgment

 

Condemn her

 

And me

 

For her choice in religion

 

But I hope after they read these words

 

After they walk just a few steps

 

Along the path of life she has traveled

 

They might learn to understand

 

And not be so quick

 

To cast stones

 

 

 

Yes

 

I am a Catholic

 

And my wife is a Wiccan

 

And deep down in my heart

 

I know

 

That even God understands

 

Why

 

 

 

Ed Roberts 8/6/11

 

 

 

 

 

Each night I pray for forgiveness

 

Not only for my sins

 

But for those of others as well