Interview & 54 Million 26 April 2016


In trying to get my foot more firmly in the door of online teaching, I apply for jobs available every week. This last week, I had a response to my resume that came with an invitation and a link for a video interview. It wasn’t in person, but it was still one of the most interesting interviews I’ve ever had.

To begin, you simply practiced using the technology to get familiar, in not entirely comfortable, with it. I answered the practice questions several times and went through the tips to get better each time. When I felt I was ready, I clicked to start the actual interview, barn cutterreminding myself to look into the camera and not down at the computer screen where the timer was. I had three minutes to answer each of four questions.

One asked me to speak about how I would integrate my faith into my teaching. That was a first for me. One asked me to talk about a time I went out of my way to help someone. Again, really? One asked me to react to some values this institution holds dear and as I began to speak and reflect, I came to tears and had to apologize to the camera. I was taken aback by the questions, and at the same time, felt that these were important questions to be able to answer and it gave me a sense of the integrity of the organization. I hope I hear back from them.

That brings me to this day’s poem, which also brought me to tears.

54 Million*

 You, who rail at the death of Al-Awlaki

or even Bin Laden –

You who protest, holding candlelight vigil

outside prisons when killers die –

Where were you when the

Holy Innocents

were murdered in the

should-be safety of their mothers’ wombs?

Where were you?

You, who cry out in defense of the whales and the polar bear,

and the Iowa Pleistocene snail.

You, who would free Tibet

and spare the baby Harp seals

and the old growth forests –

You, who march for gay rights and civil rights and workers’ rights

and womens’ rights.

Where were you at the march for the inalienable right to life?

Where were you when the

Holy Innocents,

in numbers to populate California, Colorado and Ohio

became discarded medical waste –

as flawed, or might-be flawed, or not even flawed,

but perfect in the likeness of God?

Acting in your assumed deity-likeness,

falsely promised by the deceiver

when luring you to the forbidden tree

you determined them

inconvenient, unwanted, not real

Where were you when the world lost

Artists and acrobats and atheists and Brothers and bakers and builders and Comforters and cardiologists and cartoonists and Daughters and dreamers and dancers and Ecologists and engineers and entrepreneurs and Fathers and farmers and forgivers and Graduates and geographers and geologists and Husbands and harlots and hobos and horsemen and Illustrators and immigrants and ignoramuses and innocents and Jugglers and jewelers and jokesters and Knights and kinesiologists and kidders and Lovers and lumberjacks and laughingstocks and Mothers and musicians and missionaries and Nurses and namesakes and ne’er-do-wells and nay-sayers and Organists and optimists and orthopedists and Philosophers and poets and pediatricians and Quilters and quarrelers and quitters and Rustlers and realists and rappers and Sisters and sons and sons-of- bitches and Teachers and troubleshooters and trouble-makers and Uncles and undertakers and union bosses and Vegetarians and vintners and voters and Wives and woodworkers and writers and Xenophiles and xeroscapers and ex’s and Yearners and yakkers and yellowbellies and Zoologists and zionists and zealots

And God only knows whom else?

Where were you when these

were stolen from us

in the name of choice?

Our babies,

who from their silent suspension,

had none?

Where were you?

Where were we?

Where was I?


Who with Him, allowed us to create them,

and with the same gift of free will to kill them,




*Abortions reported in U.S. since Roe v. Wade in 1973; far exceeding total deaths of all American wars of any size or declaration; more Jews aborted than killed in the holocaust and more black Americans than in the slave trade. By 2016, this number has risen to 58,900,000, and counting.

©Kathleen VanDeVeere, October 2011, revised April 2016

About Sally Gerard

I am a writer, runner, teacher, singer, guitar player, mom, lover, coffee drinker, hunter, antique tractor driver, horsewoman, sister, and lover of the outdoors. Did I mention that I love lighthouses?
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