Just What Were They Thinking?

a poem by tobias kerins, UK

The words that I’m about to write
Hopefully the words that you will read
Are harsh and highly contentious
In advance I will concede

I won’t beat around the bush
As I’m known to cut to the chase
But this story makes me wild
So the facts I will retrace

It’s that wonderful time of the year
Where a holiday has been planned
The luggage has all been packed
They’re off to a foreign land

They arrive in the sunny Algarve
The sun with beach and the hills
Eyes should be glued to the children
Common sense and parental skills

Time to go and relax
Have a drink and chat with your friends
But what about the children
And the message that this sends

The children are left alone
In a chalet they’re gently asleep
Someone enters the room
With stealth a slowly creep

A child is thus removed
No commotion or galling screams
Complete dereliction of duty
The worst of horror dreams

Disappeared from the face of the Earth
There simply is no trace
Will they ever see again
That beautiful smiling face

Questions have to be asked
Answers must be provided
And this is where it seems
That opinion is divided

The negligent behaviour
An abandonment of care
I couldn’t look in the mirror
And at my own face stare

The girl she is still missing
Hope has long but faded
An abductor off on their toes
Capture has evaded

Conspiracies are rife and long
That’s not the issue I’m trying to make
Those parents they are a disgrace
To allow someone their child to take

The parents are badly shaken
But no criminal charges are brought
In Great Britain without hesitation
They would have ended up in court

With the efforts to find this girl
Much sympathy has been expressed
Television and newspaper smothered
The media they did their best

But the bottom line is this
Just what were the parents thinking
To leave alone their children
And go for a night of drinking

The sympathies have to stop
Because the fault with the parents lay
How I loathe the whole self-pity
Or what the do-gooders say

Those children should never have been left alone
One girl and twin boys too
Strange that there was no noise
She would have screamed her face bright blue

I am not trying to suggest
That the parents were in any way involved
But I scare and fear for the girl
That this mystery will stay unsolved

I warned you this would be harsh
Divisive and highly contentious
But those that defend the parents
Are aloof and wholly pretentious

For Madeline we pray
A young life thrown to waste
This leaves afloat in my mouth
A terrible awful taste

A Pilgrim's Place
The Maltese Falcon Vol VI
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