Before the Blood is Mopped Up

convicts, work gangs, hard labor, punishment, prison, serving time

There’s so little to say in the wake of tragedy, after the dead have been covered over and the wounded have been carted off.

What is there to do but to fall to our knees, bow our heads, and weep for the young Mormon boy wounded while serving his mission and the mother of twins slain by yet another woefully misguided suicide bomber?

The experts tell us that crying is a good thing. Tears have the power to heal us from the inside out, they say.

Is it possible that the suicide bombers have lost the ability to weep?

They bear no sign of grief, no flicker of regret in their eyes, no unsteady tremor of the hand. There’s not even a hint of hesitation in their gait as they walk to the corner market or to the nearest ticket gate and call out the name of a god they barely know but claim to serve. Then kill over and over and over again in Allah’s name.

And before the blood is mopped up, before the wounded are rolled into recovery rooms, before the next-of-kin have been notified, our nation’s politicians and talking heads have taken to the air waves to denounce, not the terrorists who are waging this unholy war, but instead their fellow countrymen.

They claim to have all the answers for all the ills that plague this world: These talking heads, these politicians who couldn’t fix a leaky faucet without calling  a plumber.

I should like to shackle them all one-to-another, like a prison work crew, and offer them over to the terrorists.

Make a swap.

For all the lives of the innocent people not yet slain, here take these, instead.

Do what you will with them.

You might start by cutting out their tongues. Not many would blame you.

But you must swear by the god you say you serve that you will put an end to the violent attacks on innocent people, good mothers and Mormon missionaries.

In return, we will happily trade you our arrogant and xenophobic.


Karen Spears Zacharias is the author of Mother of Rain (Mercer University Press). Watch the stage adaptation at The Springer Opera House April 7-17th.




Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.



about 6 years ago

Karen, you just said what I felt when the politicians started talking about Brussels. Isn't it sad that when terror strikes we are shocked at the moment but almost at the same time, expecting it? I am so sick of the politicians and their automatic responses to tragedy as though they seem to be somehow individually affected by it. Usually, they are not affected at all because they do not feel the pain that innocent people feel when they lose friends and family to these monsters. I feel that it is because they don't have a conscience either. Politicians are so low now they can't even pretend to show concern. I was sickened by the events in Brussels but my mind kept going back and thinking of the evil that takes place every hour of every day in the middle east. I pray every day for peace in the world knowing it probably won't come anytime soon. I pray for our country but I know the leaders we have really don't care about us. I pray a lot and wonder when things will change. Unfortunately there will be more terror attacks and we will be shocked when we hear about them and it will be again heartbreaking for so many people. There are good people in this country. I wish there was a way to get them to help lead it but good people care. They won't get into the evil of today's politics and I can't blame them.


Karen Spears Zacharias

about 6 years ago

I pray, too, Justin. I simply cannot understand how we became this nation, the one that seems to seriously consider putting a reality TV star into the highest office in this country. My heart is broken.



about 6 years ago

I am all for outsiders running for office. We need more people from the outside but not CRAZY people from the outside.


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