A girl with curls sits raging, mad.
She bristles, curses, yells, and cries:
“I’m angry, hurt, and always sad!”
Whose hurtful tale is no surprise.

She had been lied to by a guy
Who treated sex a passing whim,
And promised love up to the sky,
That she would give her all to him.

Then after months of dating her
For sex with promises delayed
At last to her it did occur,
He’d used her and her heart betrayed.

That guy was someone who believed
He had to do this all his days,
For from his angry dad received
Demeaning punishments always.

His father never had a word
Of goodness, help, or benefit.
And so that guy had never heard
A word of love but just was hit.

A belt was often used to smack
His son for every little thing.
The least offense, he would attack
With all the anger he could bring.

And so that guy, he had a choice:
To end his life or dull its pain.
He chose to hear survival’s voice
To numb the torture in his brain.

The two most powerful of cures:
The first was sex, with pleasures fun,
The second, drugs, for him assures
That for the moment pain is done.

He did not bother in the how,
Right now he had to dull it all.
And screaming pains would not allow
The voice of morals come to call.

His beating dad a soldier was
Who faithfully had served the Man.
Three tours he ventured on because
He had believed it was God’s plan.

But when his team was ambushed at
A village, and they all had died.
While they did search, he quiet sat–
The only one to run and hide.

For days he hid and scavenged food
Until his enemies had passed,
And though he did but what he could,
He felt the guilt to be the last.

They’d pinned a medal on his chest
And then discharged him from the corps.
They told him he was truly blessed
To have survived the bloody war.

But guilt had followed every day,
A joke his medal, “hero” claimed.
Surviving shamed his every way.
His heart was wounded, stabbed, and maimed.

So even though he’d settled down
And raised a family as should,
Within self-loathing he would drown,
Rejecting God and every good.

To all his children, wife, also
He lashed out with his violent rage
In part believing they would grow
Much stronger from it so with age.

A terrorist had led the team
That killed the friends of his that day.
He’d joined his cell to live the dream
To make all infidels then pay.

For when he was a little boy
An air raid bombed his village small.
These foreigners did dare destroy
His parents, siblings, neighbors–all!

So when he could, he joined the cause
To rid the world of hateful men
Who dared impose their Western laws
Upon another land again.

The General who’d sent the raid
That bombed his village into naught,
Enjoyed the fact that he had paid
The ones who’d had his mother shot.

And even though they weren’t the same
Who’d shot her, he could not care less.
For terrorists were all to blame;
He’d bomb them to his hate express.

A local man had killed his mom,
A freedom fighter for his land,
Who’d used his violence, gun, and bomb
To punish them by his own hand.

For years his people were oppressed
By kings who’d conquered long ago.
But still his people were obsessed
This monarchy to overthrow.

And on and on it goes like this:
Such hate is traced back through all times.
To everyone it gives its kiss,
They justify their hate-filled crimes:

“I’m hurt! That’s why I act this way!”
“I’m broken! And I lash out so!”
“I’ve been betrayed, so all must pay!”
“I cannot stop myself, you know?”

And so the story onward goes:
The girl with curls now lashes out
At anyone who would oppose
Her hate for men and angered shout.

A trail of hurt and pain she leaves
As part of an unbroken chain
That passes on what she receives:
The sad persistence of life’s pain.

(Photo by Ludek Maderyc)