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Potiphar – Was There Some Design?
By James Vasquez
You’ve come afar, now rest your feet,
And sip Egyptian beer at ease.
Let weary bones refresh themselves,
Enjoy this gentle breeze.
A man in my position will
Make haste to honor foreign guests,
When by a sovereign they are sent,
As your attire suggests.
You say you’ve come for having heard
Our prisoners here are all content,
They do their work, they keep their place,
To orders give assent?
Amazingly, it’s very true,
And word has spread abroad, I see.
But let me tell you of the man
By whom this came to be.
When first I laid my eyes on him
I little thought, and less I knew,
Just what the man’s true talents were,
And what, for me, he’d do.
A Hebrew who knew not our tongue,
A man of youngish age but strong,
Quite handsome and possessing naught
But wraparound and thong.
He bore no mark of slavery,
Well-fed, had neither worms or lice.
Perhaps he’s do me well, I thought,
And so I paid the price.
I wasted not a day before
I gave him sundry chores to do.
He put his hand to each and then,
His household duties grew.
And work within the field was his,
In truth, whate’er I needed done,
With him in charge things turned out well,
As quickly as begun.
And shortly it was plain some force,
Or godly power within him dwelt,
And greatly did I prosper from
Such fortune to me dealt.
Now gaze upon my livestock round.
Behold each verdant, thriving field.
Consider what great wealth is mine,
In produce that they yield.
I tell you till this man appeared,
This Joseph of the Hebrew race,
You’d find no sheep or cattle here,
Nor of rich fields a trace.
This stately house, so well adorned,
Each servant knowing well his tasks,
No lack of bounty at a meal,
Or spice for which one asks,
Yes, Joseph was the man I charged,
To do all that I wished or bid.
His God walked closely by his side,
And prospered all he did.
Then you will understand, kind sir,
The shock I knew when, one good eve,
At home I found a ruckus I
But slowly could believe.
For continuation, go to Page Two
from the December 2007 Chanukah Edition of the Jewish Magazine
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