Friday, February 4, 2011

The Preacher and the Music Director's Wife

The preacher was arrogant to the younger crowd,
But to those with deep pockets, he appeared less proud,
Damon’s sermons were powerful, he turned them up by degrees,
He was clearly annoyed by those who dared defy his decrees,
Feared and secretly hated by the rest of the church staff,
Except by Samantha, who would mock him and laugh,
She found reasons to tease him, to watch him turn red,
Yet she’d bake him cookies and bring him sweet bread,
I wasn’t  sure but I thought she admired his position of power,
She was beautiful, smart, and already in full flower,
She was open to all who wanted to know about her family tiffs,
And frequently proclaimed she had all of the spiritual gifts,
Her husband, the music director, turned a blind eye,
Adam wanted to confront her, but didn’t dare try,
It was clear she was restless, and loved him no more,
She wanted to hurt him deeply by declaring a spiritual war,
Adam was persistent and continued to go out of his way,
To give her thoughtful presents and constantly say,
“I love you,” but she ignored him each and every time,
She hated his goodness and treated him like swine,
Adam was special and crowds showed to hear him sing,
His voice resonated, entertained, as he sang to his king,
Why Samantha did not feel the power, no one really knew,
The more the crowds loved him the more her hatred grew,
Samantha often said, “I want to go somewhere without you,”
Adam didn’t take her seriously because his love was true,
His rebuttal,“I can never leave here, I’m treated like a son,”
And in her heart Samantha knew, her time with him was done,
The preacher, on the other hand, was abusive to his wife,
 Damon was heard to say, “A wife must obey all her life,”
Mary would murmur quietly, “I’m sorry, much harder I’ll try,”
Sometimes Mary would show up with bruises, black and blue,
She always covered for him, but I knew her words were untrue,
“It was my fault,” she might say, “I was not being loyal” or “I fell,”
It was my opinion that the preacher had a one way ticket to hell,
One day when Damon thought he was alone with his wife,
“You disagreed with me! That’s disloyal!” his voice cutting like a knife,
He berated her at length and ended the tirade with a slap,
“Now clean up this mess,” he snapped, as her nose bled onto her lap,
She noticed me in the shadows, “Shhhh. You’ll only make it worse,”
I couldn’t just accuse him. I needed more than chapter and verse,
Damon’s temper was legendary but church officials looked the other way,
As long as the church was growing Damon would have his say,
To Damon, all wives and daughters were part of a game,
It was rumored that they were afraid when he called them by name,
Except for Samantha who talked as if she cared about nothing,
She scared him with her reckless talk about acting and dancing,
Always in short skirts and low cut blouses, she sat in the front pew,
Damon often stammered and sputtered because of the view,
When some of the elderly women criticized her just a bit,
She said, “God gave it to me and the devil can’t make me hide it.”
It didn’t take long for Damon to succumb to her charms,
At night he dreamed of holding her tightly in his arms,
Tossing and turning, he was restless and could find no relief,
The next day he confronted her, “Your rebellion has caused me grief,
Did you not learn a lesson from Delilah and Jezebel?
If you don’t mend your ways, you’re going straight to hell,”
He hesitated, “You need to see me for counseling so we can talk,”
She laughed at him, “You’d like to have me behind a door that locks,”
“If you were in my house for a week,” he sputtered, “You’d learn,”
“You’ve got a little bad boy in you,” she said, “You’d have to earn,
Any chance you got with me, so talk to my husband, then we’ll see,”
What chance did he have to convince her husband to agree?
After one of his sermons he decided to talk to Adam, man to man,
“You’re neglecting your duty, she’s not under your command,
She runs your house, I don’t think you have much to say,
If she was under my roof, just for a week, I’d get her to obey,
We might be happier if we switched partners for awhile,
I’d tame your wife and she’d come back with a smile,”
Adam was shocked, he couldn’t believe what he had heard,
“I couldn’t do that,” he muttered, “it’s going against the Word,”
Samantha chuckled, “You are pathetic and can’t satisfy me,
I wouldn’t have to be near you, for one week I’d be free,”
Adam was infuriated, he didn’t like Samantha’s retort,
But he made a mistake when he turned to Mary for support,
Mary was still bruised from Damon’s last series of blows,
To be away from Damon she would have kissed the devil’s toes,
Mary said, “Your wife will learn to appreciate loving kindness in a man,
Now, she’s young and blind, she really doesn’t understand,”
That made sense to Adam.  His wife had never given him respect,
He knew he loved her and would give her everything without neglect,
For that reason, he wavered, for a week he could let her go,
But in the back of his mind was a small voice saying, “No, No, NO!”
What choice did he have when all three stared him down?
But his heart refused to give in, he was honor bound,
“This is all wrong. Samantha will have to make her own choice,”
“And you, Damon, have been listening to the devil’s voice!”
Angrily Adam turned and left. He needed to find somewhere to pray,
Someplace where sunlight poured over him, where evil couldn’t stay,
Evil would stay away from exposure and find all the secret places,
It had already captured three of them, he could see it on their faces,
Adam knew he could not control, the choice Samantha would make,
But within his heart he felt at peace, he knew the path he’d take,

Damon wasn’t seen around the church. He claimed to be really ill,
But rumors flew from house to house about how his nights were filled,
His name was bandied about, giving the church ill-fame,
He was asked to go away, where none would hear his name,
Mary had fled that very day to escape her life of abuse,
Disappearing somewhere far off, safe as a nameless recluse,
Samantha left Adam for glittering lights, success always on the brink,
She’d call from time to time, usually when she had too much to drink,
She said she might return some day, if he would take her back,
She just needed a few more months, until she was on a winning track,
Adam endured the jibes and sneers, ignoring the months of lies,
Gradually pity was exchanged for respect, he was deemed saintly and wise,
But he never remarried, more lessons he chose not to learn,
He had kept a journal each day of his life, and now he wanted it to burn,
He had finally forgiven Samantha for all she had said and done,
It had taken years for his inner battle to be won,
Now that it was over, he wanted his stories to feed the flames,
But I couldn’t destroy his work, I just changed the names,
I’ve come to realize that learning lessons does not end,
But there’s no reason to repeat them again and again,
If there’s a moment when a story rings clear and true,
I’ll take it to heart and growth for me will ensue,
Adam’s story won’t be wasted if others do, too.

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