Marriage of the Prophet
by Paul David Adkins
So many people, every bit of a nation, had sinned.
But it wasnt Hoseas job as a prophet
to stop them. He just had to marry a whore
and suffer publicly as she stepped out on him.
He just had to watch his children grow
into worthless weeds: their fruit a stink,
their leaves of choking fingers. But in the temple
as a boy, what a little man he was:
his little tie, his parted hair,
his Bible in his hand. Everyone knew
he would surely be a pillar of the town.
His pious wife would be the obvious choice
for organist. But now at forty,
with Gomer laughing somewhere with a lover,
he realized serving God was not platitudes
or preaching. It was not rubbing his forehead
over the Torah late into the night. It was
loving a woman stumbling drunk at dawn,
shouting, Let me in! It was
tenderly wiping vomit from her
slack and aging face.
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