A Dinner Guest Recalls the Previous Night by Thomas Banks

A Dinner Guest Recalls the Previous Night

For she loved much.” —Luke 7:47

True, one can blame her kind too much,
And to expect much social grace
Or decent seemliness in such
Is foolish. She was out of place.

The talk and wine were freely flowing,
When she came in (I missed from where)
And then, before the rabbi bowing,
Washed his feet with her perfumed hair.

As you may guess, the company
Was at a loss for what to do,
What with her weeping lavishly—
This country slut whom no one knew.

Between the rabbi and our host
Some words passed—then from where she lay
He raised her up, and to that lost
Fool said her sins were washed away.

An odd non sequitur, I know,
Much of a piece with all he says;
It seems wherever he should go
Many of this low breed of strays

Gather about him, as if his
Mere speech were golden, every word;
Oh, I’ll grant you, such as it is,
It works upon you, leaves you stirred,

I won’t deny. Quite easily
The simple sort fall for his game,
As last night proved for all to see.
Who was she? I forget her name.

By Thomas Banks

Editor’s Note: This poem tackles an old bible story with aplomb, from an interesting point of view.