Avaloniad, 2: Report To Alexandria, From Caiphas

[after Acts 7:54-60; 8:1 and 9:1-2]


After we hurried Stephen to his death,
most of the followers of Jesus scattered,
preferring flight to having their brains splattered
beneath our stones.  Across the length and breadth
of our land, we pursued them.  Those we seized
suffered and died where, when, and how we pleased.
But persecuting Joseph would have been
politically unwise.  He held a tin
concession granted by the Emperor
Octavian to his stepfather; then
Tiberius bestowed the same on him.
This put him past the reach of any whim
of ours:  why waste the manpower and the men?
Not long after he learned Stephen was dead,
he and his young child Ariel packed and fled---
across the empire to that misted isle
where his tin barns stand---some ten years ago.
With heresy come arrogance and guile.
Joseph and Ariel have a rich lifestyle---
as long as tin is lucrative and sure.

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