The Last Accuser

Photo by Donna Godsell on Unsplash

I feel impact of stone upon
the soles of feet as the ground
reverberates with their fall.
They fall. (I fell so long ago).
I don’t recall a day I felt
clean. Used — abused by men
so often all the leering faces
fade to one demonic sneer:
a violent visage holding self
above, judging and condemning.

I do not know what happened to 
the one who promised love for me.
His face mutates, transforms into
this mass of hideous, hateful eyes
surrounding me, accusing me,
calling for the penalty.

Now, before this man I’m thrown:
a ragged rabbi so unlike
the men whom I have seen before.
I feel their countless eyes that burn
through and past my broken soul.
I know their hate is more for him
than for me — this one who stoops 
and with his finger writes in sand.
Their question is impossible:
Ignore or to obey the law?

My eyes look down, I wait for death.
I cringe; I hear my ragged breath.
Then I feel impact of stone
fall to the ground. I am alone.
One by one accusers leave,
when I look up there’s only me
and him, the one who writes in sand.

Another word — this one for me,
the last accuser to set free.
Something falls to the ground
as I get up and turn around.
I see my feet and in the sand
the bloody rock that was in my hand.

To support the poet’s benign coffee addiction: Coffee.