Oh What a Wicked

Did she think for even a moment
that death for John would mean
freedom for her sinning soul?
Did she think people
all over the four corners
of the kingdom would simply
forget?
Poor fumbling and desperate
Herodius, marrying her uncle
twice, I have to believe
her mind wasn’t quite perfect
in its workings, neurons not
firing on all their cylinders,
but her instinct for self-protection
results in another man’s
death.
Sweet, beautiful, dancing daughter,
happy to be admired,
grateful for the chance
to please her mother,
chained, as she was, to
a life she did not choose,
left only with a mother and this
father king, not
her own.
Herod on his throne, attempting
to live on both sides
of the law, to balance on the skirting wall,
to honor both sides
of his own heart, but he
did as the stepchild asked,
to please her and to please
her mother.
Oh what a wicked
family tree, sending roots out
in search of a truth they were unwilling
to drink, lifting branches dry
to the stormy sky, certain
that their limbs were never going
to break.
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