William Chaplar (August 18,1961 / Trenton, New Jersey)
A Woman's Place
In the third year of his reign, King Xerxes threw a big to-do
that all the menfolk in the land would be invited to.
And on the seventh day, after the king had drank a lot,
he ordered that his queen be sent to him. But she would not
drop all that she was doing solely to appease the king.
Such a refusal, naturally, would consequences bring,
'cause Xerxes made an edict that Queen Vashti be removed.
And thus her misbehavior was officially reproved.
But now King Xerxes had no queen, and so a plan was made
to bring in virgins to the special place where virgins stayed.
They'd give each one some time for her to beautify her face,
and then they'd pick the one who would be taking Vashti's place.
So each of the young women was displayed before the king.
And soon, in praise of Esther's beauty, he'd have cause to sing.
The king then placed a royal crown upon his new queen's head.
Henceforth, it would be Esther who'd be queen in Vashti's stead.
Soon Esther's cousin Mordecai uncovered a strange thing.
It seems two royal officers had plans to kill the king.
So Mordecai told Esther everything he'd overheard
with the hope that, to the king, she'd quickly pass the word.
And when she did, the malcontents would promptly meet their fate.
Thus Esther had prevented their designs to kill her mate.
Then one day Modecai, in front of everyone, refused
to bow down before Haman, who was not at all amused.
But Haman knew of Mordecai and chose not to abuse.
Instead, he hatched a scheme through which he would destroy the Jews.
So once again on Esther, Mordecai would make a call.
And she'd use her position, this destruction to forestall.
Then, risking her own life, Queen Esther went to see the king.
So pleased was he to see her that he offered anything
she wanted up to half his kingdom, to which she replied,
"If you and Haman come to dinner with me, I'll confide
in you and tell you what it is I want for you to do."
And so the king agreed to the requested rendezvous.
Now when the time had come for the intended consultation,
Queen Esther told the king of the proposed extermination.
So once again would Esther's words familiarize the king.
But this time it was Haman's execution they would bring.
Now Esther lived during a time when women had no rights;
a time when men had all the power as well as all the might.
Yet time and time again, she proved that women did have minds.
And her exploits were early victories for womankind.
Comments about this poem (A Woman's Place by William Chaplar )
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