AFTER THE AMISH SHOOTINGS
by John Hildebilde
Not cranky, just private.
Intent on their own way.
The news photo shows five men—
full beards, round-crowned black hats,
“elders,” the caption says—staring
at the sky. What troubles them
is not death or violence (their Bible teaches
about that, and how to react to it,
with forgiveness for killer, food and comfort
for his family). It’s the helicopter,
bearing off five small bodies, broken or dead.
To the Plain People such machinery
Is blasphemous. What altogether baffles me
is what sort of God allows bloodshed
To descend on such pious, gentle folk?
No, that’s the wrong question:
could I follow the pattern
Of loving forgiveness they display—
“If anyone offer violence, give love in return.”
Copyright © 2007 by John Hildebidle.