Jesus’s Geneology: Matthew 1:1-17

In the list of Jesus’s ancestors in the Book of Matthew

14 by 14 by 14 men marching back to when everything was new

There are four women mentioned who

Were all badly behaved women of some kind, maybe.

(remember your tongue.)

A woman who pretended to be a prostitute (Tamar)

A woman who was a prostitute (Rahab)

A woman so dissolute (Bathsheba)

She bathed and seduced

the king and he killed her husband intentionally.

(remember your decorum.)

Then there’s that miscegenator,

A widow and friend to her husband’s mother (Ruth)

Who followed her off leaving family to glean crops

And be claimed with a sandal as property

Like most women were currently.

(remember your husband.)

And these four are the only grandmothers mentioned

Of Jesus’s great grandmothers and with what they thought of convention

And whatever the author of Matthew intended

Somehow the prudes and patriarchs never amended

This record of the truth of gender

Perhaps they would say regrettably

(remember your education.)

I’m going to tell everyone somehow I think in my mind

And defend you, me, my mother, Anais Nin, and Gertrude Stein,

Let them tell someone else to toe their line

Someone who they’ve managed to keep blind

When they blather on about female chastity incessantly

(remember your vindication.)


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Sarah is a social worker in the San Francisco Bay Area with at-risk and homeless youth. She likes to paint, drum, sing, and spend quality time with her family and God.