gershon hepner

(5 3 38 / leipzig)

homeboy


They said: “We must get rid of him.”
in jealousy and hate
they wished to tear him limb from limb,
but two of them said: “Wait! ”
His oldest brother was the first
to try, but since he'd chased
his father’s wife he had been cursed,
and his words went to waste.
He’d fooled with Jacob’s concubine,
the slavegirl Rachel had acquired,
like Absalom, who’d intertwine
with concubines of David, fired
by great resentment and ambition
to be a better king than he,
for David had condoned sedition
by Amnon on his raping spree.
The link between the tale implies
he wished to be a greater man, ,
than was his father, breaking ties
with him so he could lead his clan.

Another brother took the lead
and said, for he was shrewder:
“We must not do a bloody deed, ”
and saved him–– he was Judah.
And so they sold him to a band
of merchants passing by,
when Midianites stretched out their hand
and Ishmaelites would buy
the lad whose face was fair with freckles,
appealing to both guys
and gals for twenty silver shekels,
for predators a prize.
To the Egyptians he was traded
as slave to Potiphar,
a man whose appetite was jaded,
and in a scheme bizarre,
tried mating his wife to his slave
to be his semen-surrogate,
so she could bear his son, and gave
her Joseph, sexual bait.
Too bad the tabloids learnt about
the scheme, and publicized
the details. She was forced to shout,
protesting: “I’m surprised
the Hebrew slave got in his head
the notion I was horny;
that I should want him in my bed
is too banal and corny.”

Although he was imprisoned for
alleged attempted rape,
he managed to appear before
interpreting the Pharaoh’s dreams
as though he was a prophet.
In one’s own home no one, it seems,
is one. He had to rough it
when he predicted things at home
as if he were a magus.
Rejected, he as forced to roam
for seeming so outrageous.
No married woman could seduce,
nor sex harassment mess him,
for God had made with him a truce,
deciding He would bless him,
and Pharaoh made him Number Two
within the land. All others
esteemed the things he did and knew
far better than his brothers
that he was truly great. The moral:
You have to travel far
and leave your home and quarrel
with those who think you are
not gifted, talented or bright
because they've always known you.
At home you never can be right
for there men think they own you.
Where dams are built you can’t survive,
they smoke you out like salmon;
like Joseph leave your home and thrive
where there is feast, not famine

12/8/98,12/18/05

Submitted: Sunday, December 18, 2005
Edited: Sunday, December 18, 2005

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  • Hugh Cobb (12/19/2005 9:06:00 PM)

    You've been posting a lot about Joseph lately, Gershon. Good poem. The moral seems clear. The power of story to change lives is the purpose of all scripture I would think.

    Be blessed this holy season,

    Shalom and Mazeltov!

    Hugh (Report) Reply

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