Nondescript. The daughter of no one,
married to a drifter whose family name
was her only defense in a world gone mad.
The days slipped away indistinctly,
reckoned only by periodic returns of the drifter,
drenched in stale wine and declaring marital rites.
With a yank and thrust he dashed her humanity,
dispensing with it like the delicate yarn restraining
her raven hair. She watched it descend to the floor—
silent, soft, slow. He dressed, turning back while departing to
demand that she pack; they’d decamp within the month.
She stepped outside into the downpour—
a welcomed washing of his dankness
from her skin. Despite the drumming thunder,
an eerie silence fell. Her thoughts drifted to her neighbors—
those conquerors-turned-captives at odds with the King.
Then, a blaze of lightning torched the dark,
pulling a man from the shadows. He drew nearer. Though
deprived of his distinctive armor, it was beyond a doubt the General Sisera.
Decorum dictated her invitation, but he would’ve demanded it anyway.
All she had and was he could despoil. Yet she dealt gently,
disarming him with docility. Deference played duet with dominance
until the latter succumbed to slumber.
Dashing to the drawer, she drew a weapon of domesticity.
Returning, kneeling, she made out his breathing. His head was turned,
just so; his temple still soiled as evidence of his mortification in battle.
A shallow breath—his. A gasp—hers. Now, death’s blow…dealt by
the hand of a friend, not the clash of a foe…at the hand of a woman,
*Read Judges 1-3. Why are enemy tribes still in the Promised Land?
*Read Judges 4. Who had God commanded to fight and conquer the Canaanites? Is Jael an Israelite?
Consider: Was Deborah’s prophecy of Jael’s act (Judg 4.9) divine sanction of it or is there greater meaning?