The bruising rose
You told the story of an innocent woman
accused of adultery –
tied to a post in the marketplace,
everyone who passed required by law
to cast a stone or some filth upon her ...
which she endured with a noble dignity;
her daughter was brought forth, throwing
not a stone nor filth but, a simple rose ...
and the mother shrieking in agony
as it brushed her cheek.
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,
You told the crowd in another marketplace.
You, of course, could have cast that stone,
but You have come down, bound Yourself
among the stones and filth
of our marketplaces to endure unjustly
the fateful punishments of being human
and to weigh in Your innocent hands
the culpability of each stone-and-rose-wielding
patron, each laboring, fearful heart.
O child of God, the Beloved is ever merciful.
Protect Him from the bruising rose of your infidelity.