Friday, 10 March 2017


Iphis’ Sacrifice

Precious gift am I.
So do you gift me to another!
Human sacrifice is your demand – not God’s.
How many women sacrificed?
Over how many centuries?
Because a greedy God demands?
I don’t think so.

Precious daughter – but what is a daughter?
But a bargaining chip to gain a dowry…
This dowry will grain you much
Notoriety and disgust – shame and sorrow.

Precious ritual object an I.
Dress me in white like the Phoenician priestesses.
I may as well be one of them – for never shall I tend my own babe.
Never shall I live the life I was born for.
For my story is but to die
at my own father’s hand.

What is a Father who sacrifice His own child?
What is such a child who continues to honour the Father?
Even I, precious one – might point the way to a better path.

(Judges 11 - Although she is unnamed in Scripture, G.F.Handel called Jephthah’s daughter, Iphis.)

© 2017, A.Koh-Butler

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