‘Those who withhold kindness from a friend forsake the fear of the Almighty …
“Ransom me from the hand of oppressors” Job 6:14,23b
We listen now as parents tell the tale
that their children
were not to be ransomed
while others went home, were saved,
that their questions
went unanswered, their lonely wait —
while in other countries
families were tenderly cared for
informed, never left alone,
that their non-combatant children
were considered worthy
of retribution, but not life.
Zechariah and Elizabeth
(not to speak of his cousin Jesus)
were not much comforted
after John’s death in such a manner.
He was the Baptist,
he was in over his head …
like most journalists, aid workers.
There is no family anywhere
to know that their loss
is some kind of face-saving
in the birthday arenas of power,
the politics of a terrible dancing.