Despite the boredom of daily chores,
she enjoyed fetching the water.
Reaching down in the cool abyss
grew sweeter as the morning grew hotter.
The well breathed a peaceful chill
that begged a soul to stay,
so she gladly drank long and deep
to relieve the heat of the day.
She was completely unprepared
for the hands that seized her arms.
The dipper of water burst on the sand
as her neighbors shouted alarm.
She barely heard the irate command
to come and admit her sin,
and dread flooded her racing heart
as she heard the accusation.
They didn’t give her voice a chance;
a man had confessed it all.
The other men dragging her knew the truth
and the Law demanded she fall.
They were right – she just hadn’t thought
she would ever be found out.
She wondered remotely why he confessed
and what had brought it about.
She fell to her knees on dusty stones,
numb with fear and dread.
She cringed at the thought of a stoning death,
not daring to lift her head.
“This woman is a disgrace!” they cried
and she wept that they were not wrong.
The temple around her fell silent,
but the voice of the Law was strong.
The silence stretched, and she looked up,
unsure of what she saw.
The man before her had drawn in the dust
as accusers proclaimed the Law.
He quietly stood, and firmly said,
“Let those who are pure throw stones.”
One by one, by age they dispersed,
till she and the man were alone.
He left his wonderings in the dust,
meeting her eyes as a friend.
“The old and young have lost their flame;
do any still call you condemned?”
“No one, Lord,” she replied with tears,
unsure what he would allow.
His gentle reply was a balm to her fears:
“My grace is enough even now.”