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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




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




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





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




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






I am a Catholic


And my wife is a Wiccan


And deep down in my heart


I know


That even God understands






Ed Roberts 8/6/11






Each night I pray for forgiveness


Not only for my sins


But for those of others as well