Two Women, One Child And The Judgement

October 15, 2016

Written by Danny Dahey

On the marbled floor, perhaps a mosaic, the tree

Spreading branches like burgeoning humanity,

Both women collapse, their hands beseech,

Their eyes wet with tears; they each tell their story,

Call for Solomon the Wise to grant them leave to claim

The squalling child as their very own son (and that babe,

Innocent of crime, did he have a sense of calamity?).

In that crowded chamber, how the onlookers

Must have studied the two? Did they place bets;

Did a voice cry out as if a new tabloid was being sold?

Were there conjectures made; whispers behind hands;

Judgements on each woman’s performance?

How many of those onlookers

Would have made a decision and moved on

to the next judgement? And if they

Looked closely into the shadows of the room

Did they see an angel shimmer, could they

Have heard the breath of God, have seen Him

Silently stride through the congregation

And into Solomon’s mind; releasing logic

And in Time, to set their King aside

From the horde of cast-off declarations?

Was Solomon’s God his innermost voice

Eternally extolling him to make the ethical choice

Regardless of how he must look to the outsider’s eyes?

And how did Solomon the Wise look

In those moments when he gave his decision?

Did the crowd gasp? Did they cover their eyes and weep?

Did they clench their fists and consider a revolution? Or worse,

Did men feel their lions stirring; knowing some other male’s child

Would soon be severed in two? Did the many beasts

In that room win out over Solomon’s emerging civilization?

And in the aftermath, as the mother gave up her child

And so gained the highest ground —

Leading to the saying that love conquers all—

Did men then feel that shudder of missed opportunity,

Of limp disappointment at no bloodshed,

Or horror at each other’s (and so their own)

Hunger for the child to be slain upon that marbled floor.

And Solomon, alone that night,

Did he weep for mankind’s future?

Did he realize that the beast is tattooed

In secret, in the soul of every child, so that each of us

Thirst for blood, seek the darkness not the light,

Shiver with delight when harm visits

Neighbor and foe alike?

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