44

Forty-four sailors
Stranded aground on a ten ton freighter
Somewhere on the Arabian Sea

An S-O-S went out
The distress call for all who are able
To come to the assistance of a crew

A Soviet tug that heard the plea
Excused itself from helping
Due to an “urgent assignment.”

July of 1960 tested moral grounds
As the heat of the Cold War
Burned a political pyre that defied decency.

Boarders and dogma make unnecessary adversaries
For compassion and acceptance,
Especially where governments are concerned.

One ship, grounded, in distress
Two countries, full of animus and propaganda
Put up the boundaries that kept humanity at bay.

The times change and the egos still ignore
The simple idea that we must live together,
Political hopefuls, terrorists, religious extremists don’t understand.

Control and single-minded vision, both hampering progress
Like the nationalistic barbary of the high seas
That left those forty-four men waiting for help.

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