Tamar’s Pain

Shalom, my friend.
Sit for awhile,
And I’ll tell you a tale.

‘Tis a tale filled with shame,
And a tale filled
With fear and pain too.

“Tis my tale, you see,
For I am the one used
And abused, and then cast aside.

My name is Tamar,
Daughter of King David,
And Absalom’s sister.

But though David
Was my Abba,
He never cared.

He loved Bathsheba,
And Solomon,
Then the rest of his sons.

And though I yearned for his love,
A mere daughter could never
Be as important as a son.

Have you ever felt
That something wasn’t quite right?
But what? You just didn’t know.

Have you ever felt as though
Someone was following you?
But who? You just didn’t know.

Amnon, my half-brother
Was always skulking about,
Leering and grabbing at me.

I felt so unclean
Whenever he was around.
I tried to make myself scarce.

Then, one day he said he was sick,
And he asked our Abba
To make me his nurse.

How could Abba not see?
How could he not know
That Amnon was laying his trap for me?

Still, I was obedient,
And though he made my skin crawl,
I cooked and I fed him.

When Amnon sent the servants
Away from his room,
My heart pounded with fear.

They left us alone,
Then he grabbed my hand
“Come to bed with me, darling sister!”

“No, my brother!” I cried,
“Don’t be foolish –
Don’t do this to me!”

But Amnon refused to listen to me
As He forced me down on his bed
And used me and raped me,

Then after he finished,
He threw me outside,
Like unwanted garbage.

According to the custom, as the king’s daughter,
I was dressed in a beautiful virgin’s robe,
But now, I tore that robe asunder.

For now, I was no longer a virgin,
Unfit for marriage,
No man would want me now.

With my virgin”s robe torn,
Weeping, I used ashes
To cover my head.

My brother, Absalom,
Saw me first,
And he knew my shame, right away.

So, Absalom took me
To his home to live
And my father, the king?

They said he was angry when he found out,
But not angry enough,
For he chose to ignore everything.

Ignored his part
In sending me to my rapist.
Ignored Amnon’s cruel rape.

He chose to ignore my pain.
He chose to ignore my shame.
But worst of all, he chose to ignore me.

© 2014
Cheryl A. Showers

Image Credit: OctPowriMo

Image Credit:

This was written for Day 28 ofOctPoWriMo. This is a true story taken directly from the pages of the Bible. Perhaps because I understand her pain, this story has always haunted me. Her brother Absalom eventually took revenge on their half-brother Amnon, for raping Tamar, and he welcomed his sister into his home to live after she was raped. However, my mind goes to her father, who never seemed to notice his son’s evil intentions toward his sister. And even after the evil deed was done, we read that King David was very angry when he found out about it, and yet, he did absolutely nothing about it. Instead, Amnon got away with rape and incest, and I can certainly imagine how Tamar must have felt, when her father seemed to simply ignore the situation. Obviously, this is written from my perspective, so if you’re interested in reading the biblical version of how things really transpired, read 2 Samuel 13.


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