Pothiphar and Joseph


Pothiphar and Joseph


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Potiphar – Was There Some Design?

By James Vasquez

For Joseph, it was said by all,
Had vainly sought my wife to own,
In some most carnal way, it seemed,
When she was found alone,

Within the house with none to help,
Though she resisted him, she said.
She parried each advance he made,
And he, of course, then fled.

But not before she grabbed his cloak,
As they were struggling ‘cross the floors,
(‘Tis strange no servant heard her voice,
But they were doing their chores.)

The blame, she thought, fell square on me,
For bringing home “that Hebrew slave.”
“Your slave,” she called him, who could not
Resist her or behave.

I burned with anger hearing this,
For I had trusted him so well,
With house, possessions and my wife,
Who could this deed foretell?

Nor had I reason to distrust
What my dear wife was telling me.
I’d left her ‘lone with visitors,
Full confident she’d be,

A proper wife, and for their part,
As emissaries from afar,
They must be men of character,
For such men always are.

There was but one thing now to do,
This Joseph had betrayed my trust.
I had to punish him at once,
For wanton, shameful lust.

I put him in the prison where
The worst of reprobates were found,
For having caused offense to him,
Who as our king was crowned.

Now time has passed, I hear good things
Once more of him who I confined,
And has his God come to his aid,
And his great powers inclined?

For just this morn they took him from
The prison where he’s been. It seems
They’ve called him to great Pharoah’s throne,
For he interprets dreams.

A strange one given twice the king
Of late endured throughout a night,
And at this moment Joseph bows,
And speaks of cows and blight.

The king’s own wise men, it is said,
Knew not the meaning of the dream.
Is this one more of Joseph’s gifts,
From his own God supreme?

And was there some design that brought
This Hebrew slave to Egypt , then?
Will he serve yet another man
And prosper him again?

Will Joseph’s God, though capable,
Withstand all Pharoah’s ancient gods?
Or will it be that they, at last,
Are shown to be but frauds?

These things are not for us to know,
But now I’ve finished with my tale.
I see you’ve drunk up all your beer,
And would you like some ale?

For more Poems, see our Poems Archives


from the December 2007 Chanukah Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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