“Let your women keep silence in the churches; …” – I Corinthians 14:34
I shall witness heaven’s glory,
learn the meaning of the story,
smell the sweet celestial roses,
have a dialogue with Moses,
meet the other saints and martyrs.
Whew! And all that’s just for starters.
After days of hugging Jesus,
I’ll go drifting on the breezes
over to Apostles’ Tower,
bastion of enlightened power,
where I might politely query
God’s devoted missionary:
“Brother Paul, I find it troubling.
Don’t you like us frilly, bubbling
girls? I mean no disrespect, sir,
but within the female sector
your instructions are a puzzle.
Women born to wear a muzzle?
To Corinthians and Romans
did you mean to say that woman’s
proper place is in submission,
or was that your own rendition
of the Spirit’s implication,
subject to interpretation?
Yield to men and mutely follow?
That’s a bitter pill to swallow.
Was that just how Jesus said it,
or should we give you the credit?
Well, at least I aimed to try it.
Sorry, though, I couldn’t buy it.
Was it really your intention
to encourage deep dissension?
Spouting rules in such profusion
generated much confusion.
Mightn’t things have turned out better
if you hadn’t mailed that letter?
Please excuse me. I’m confessing
ignorance, not second-guessing..
I don’t mean to be judgmental —
my opinion’s incidental.
I just couldn’t help but wonder
if you made a zealous blunder.”
… But before my last word’s flung,
He’ll cry, “Woman, hold your tongue!”
Mary Boren, 1998