Honor Killings (inspired from an NPR news story)

In Turkey,
at her husband’s command
she was murdered by her eldest son, age 14:
at the bus stop
shot in the head
while her five younger children watched.
No safety in numbers.

She had dishonored the family
for saying on television she had been abused
by her husband,
having taken off her head scarf,
having opened her mouth to speak.

It is more honorable
to abuse, then command murder,
then murder while shouting your rage
at the dishonoring of family
before your younger siblings.
Blood pouring from your mother’s scull,
the river of life spilling forth and away

into a red, then white, silence

into an orphanage and juvenile center for the orphaned.

It is honorable
to blame the woman, maim the woman,
never once looking inward or outward
toward insanity
or the beginning of wrongness.

Others have known
such thorny honor:
assassinated, beheaded, or staked to the cross.
Having found themselves
fundamentally on the wrong side,
of the wrong people.

And if this is a spiritual path,
if this is honoring?
May any and all Gods
save us.