At No Small Cost

Back of the factory,
Just past the clamour,
Out of the range of
Chisel and hammer;
In the apartment
Up on the third floor;
End of the hallway,
Room three-oh-four;
Sonya cooks dinner.

Red sun is setting
Over the roof-tops.
Bicycles clattering,
Work of the day stops.
Labour retreats through
Streets filled with litter.
Muffled, they peddle,
As cold winds grow bitter.
Vladimir comes home.

Quick is the kiss
And quick the unraveling.
Nothing of news
At work or in travelling.
Dinner is ladled,
Hot broth and some bread.
“Markets are rationed”,
The papers have said.
Dishwater friends still.

Two chairs are nestled
Beneath the one light.
All shades are drawn down
To keep out the night.
Pictures of children
Adorn the end wall.
Off at the State-School
Since early this fall.
How they are missed!

Telephone rings!
The voice of the Pastor:
“Prayer group was raided!
A tragic disaster!
Three brothers taken
To Heaven knows where.
Wives are quite frantic.
Please lift them in prayer.”
Again, it happens.

Outside the chimes
Are striking eleven.
Hurls rude sounds to Heaven.
Inside the couple
Kneel down by their bed,
Pull out the box where
Their Bible is hid,
And plead their cause:

“Father in Heaven
Bring peace to our friends.
Release our brethren
From tormentors’ hands.
Thy Kingdom cometh.
We long for that day.
Keep our hearts watchful
And holy, we pray,
In Jesus’ name.”

These are the soldiers
At front-line of war,
Hurting in battle
As often before.
Doctrines of devils
Resist the Good News.
Claiming their Program
Brings much wiser views
To rule the land.

“Jesus, sustain us
Until you return!
Proud, plotting nations
Have so much to learn!
Godlessness grows in
The push and the shove.
Risking our all, we
Will show forth your love!
And trust in you.”


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