A Mother Never Forgets


John J. Dunphy

- published in the Secular Humanist Bulletin (Volume 25, Number 4)

Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked by the wise men was exceedingly wroth, and set forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof from two years old and under…In Rama was a voice heard, lamentation and weeping, and great mourning. Rachel weeping for her children and would not be comforted.

- Matthew 2:16 and 18

I fought them when they came to kill my son

but Herod’s soldiers were too strong.

They pulled him from my arms, tossed

his little body into the air and impaled him on a sword.

My son died screaming while squirming like a fish on a spear.

He was not yet two years old.

My son and the other male children were slain

because Herod thought it the only way

to be sure he killed the child born to be

king of the Jews.

When the one they sought all those years ago

began gathering a following, I waited with anticipation.

I knew he would someday run afoul of the authorities.

My heart sang when he was arrested and condemned.

I laughed when he dragged that cross to Golgotha.

I watched with joy every moment he took to die.

His mother was at the crucifixion.

When they removed his corpse from the cross,

I walked over and introduced myself.

“Now you, too, know the agony of losing a son,” I told her.

She said nothing and cried harder.

John J. Dunphy’s latest book, Unsung Heroes of the Dachau Trials, includes interviews with veterans of the U.S. Army 7708 War Crimes Group, who apprehended and prosecuted Nazi war criminals after World War II.

John J. Dunphy owns The Second Reading Book Shop in Alton, IL USA. Google him to learn more about this enigmatic person who is such a gifted writer and poet.