Mark 6:25

So she went in as quickly as possible to the king, and made her request. “I want you,” she said, “to give me at once, on a dish, the head of John the Baptist.”


a demanding child
is not to be trifled with
no matter where its orders
and testing of limits of enough
rose to rule the day

both weal and bane
come with an immediacy mode
pushing to overcome limits
able to use every pressure point
to evade process and dictate

without knowing it
through a surfeit of pleasure
or denial of ever-present wilderness
tests are always underway
a satan’s task never ends

out of an implied generosity
comes an unexpected consequence
catching us too far off guard
to respond with anything but
que sera sera

when so caught
there is never felt time
to retreat for clarity
past patterns take over
dies are cast death ensues


And, BANG, the girl is back with an imperious voice. This is a “request” that suggests turning it down will get you a horse’s head in your bed.

What we don’t easy envision is the spectacle this is leading to. Compare this with three other “head” stories.

Giant Goliath fell to a round stone flung from David’s sling. David proceeded to cut his head off and parade it to Jerusalem. This changed the power relationship between Philistines and Israelites, between Saul (present king) and David (future king). [1 Samuel 17:51–57]

David’s bosom buddy, Absalon, had long lovely hair he cut once a year (5 pounds worth). While fighting against David’s army his hair was caught in a tree and his mount rode out from under him, leaving him suspended. An easy target, he was summarily killed. A friend grieved is still a friend dead. [2 Samuel 14:26; 18:9–14; 18:33 or 19:1]

Judith played the temptress game with King Holofernes and, after a kingly feast, when he was drunk in his own tent, beheaded him with his own sword. Holofernes’ head went into her food bag and was taken back to the Israelite army, whereupon they routed the Assyrians and Judith was given Holofernes’ silver platter and everything belonging to the king. [Judith 13:1-10; 14:11]

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