This is an older “poem” part of a larger grouping of poems of women from the Bible.
Notes from a Rooftop Bather:
Excerpts from Bathsheba’s Diary
Uriah has not come home all spring.
Lonely for a man, I sit on my rooftop.
Melancholy, I watch for a shadow,
daydream of the King.
I am spending all my time
in my rooftop garden.
I enjoy my secret views. Private.
I watch people coming and going
from the King’s palace uphill.
Warm this morning, I bathed in
my secret garden.
Early in the evening, flustered,
I find the King’s servant at the door.
Heart-pounding, I dressed in robe
and veil. Willingly, I followed him.
The moon has completed one cycle. I have not.
With tears, I compose a note to my Beloved.
Maybe, he will save me.
Women are stoned for adultery.
I heard from the servants that Uriah
has been seen at the palace these past two nights.
He has returned to the battlefield.
He did not come to see me.
Does he know?
I only vomited three times yesterday.
Uriah is dead. Killed in battle.
Numb, I go through the motions of mourning.
Faithful, kind, loyal; he was never a bad husband.
Only an absent one.
The child is perfect, beautiful:
My son, my firstborn.
I ignore the gossip from the women’s quarter.
They are jealous of David’s affection for me.
Widow to wife, and whose son?
Nathan the prophet was here.
David is quite upset.
The baby is quite ill.
David has shut himself up
in fasting and prayer.
I despair for my son.
The price is paid,
The casket small, the little body
wrapped in linen cloths.
There is a new depth to the King.
He has been marked by grief.
Tender, compassionate, he wraps me
in a deeper love; shares with me his God.
This child I bear without shame.
I hold my head tall.
Perhaps, I am forgiven.
c.Darlene Moore Berg