Magdalene

Magdalene

 

Of course he was handsome. His mother saw to that

and all who knew him doted on the beautiful child.

Sure, women loved him. Men did too.

He carried himself with dignity, and taught us

to do the same. He spoke of love

as if it were our right, and joy

as though it lay within our grasp. He feared

no-one, but many men feared him

for knowing the corruption in their hearts.

They hated us because he was our friend.

They wanted to be like us

and yet they couldn’t see

that they were welcome too. Most of all

they despised us women, for he

regarded us as equals.

They slandered us, as others would,

and called us harlots. We were not

as women should be, following this man.

We shared a common sleeping place with him,

a common life, a common goal,

and, yes, I loved him. Men I’d had, and plenty

but after him would always have compared them.

I would have been his wife, if he had wanted, would happily

have borne his children, kept his house.

No matter. It wasn’t in God’s plan

and history would not record

that women, too, were his disciples, or how

we died for love. At least they gave me this,

that, early on that morning,

I saw him first, and heard him call me:

‘Mary!’

First published in Reach

I wrote this based on the erroneous view perpetuated by the church that Mary Magdalene had been a prostitute. I now know that she was almost certainly not a prostitute.

 

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