I wrote the first draft of this poem back in 2007 and it’s undergone a few revisions since then (all of them making it shorter and more bare, incidentally). I thought it would be appropriate to post it in light of Sunday night’s gospel reading.
She wondered what he was doing,
bent, scribbling in the sand,
writing her fate.
The oldest man, shoulders hunched
and stooping low, left first,
dropping the stone as he turned,
and the rest scurried away
like beetles hiding from the sun.
And she was left with his parting
words to go and sin no more,
the writing in the sand,
and her life.