Five Theories on the Absence of Paul’s Wife From Scripture
She was as diminutive as Paul demanded,
filling his cup with tea as he wrote furiously
and then stepping back, hands folded, silent,
always silent, always tending, until she faded
hoarsely into mist, even her name forgotten.
She tested poorly in focus groups. When angels
rounded up common men and let them read,
they agreed they found Paul charismatic,
but that she was not compelling, not relatable,
and she didn’t smile nearly enough for their liking.
She saw the same light as Paul, fell facedown
into the same dirt, but she kept her eyes
and watched the terrible flames of heaven
engulf the Lord’s voice, and she instead chose
to scurry as a cockroach back into the darkness.
She was a howling tempest, a raging storm
of a woman who kicked dust in the daytime
and scratched and clawed at night, smearing
holy letters into chicken scratch, driving Paul
to contemplate suicide by way of evangelism.
Paul loved her with such immensity that in embrace
he felt her thorn dig deep down into his flesh,
and after he swam for shore on the Lord’s
business, leaving her as flotsam in the wreckage,
he couldn’t again bring her name to his lips.
Matthew J Andrews, based in Modesto, California, is a private investigator and writer whose poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Sojourners, Red Rock Review, The Dewdrop, and Deep Wild Journal, among others.