Victims and Perpetrators. A poem
As I lay watching a Ted Talk by a young Iraqi woman
Speaking about her forced child marriage at the age of 16
And her sister’s abduction and murder by their own father
In a desperate attempt to restore the family’s honor.
My instinctive reaction is hatred.
I want to penetrate this man with my deadly venom,
Breathing orange flames like a dragon mother
Turning her enemies to ashes and dust.
But then I remember a deeper truth
I experienced when my soul went to places
Too vast for the small mind to comprehend,
An inner knowing I brought back from beyond the beyond.
It asks me to rise above the battleground and
To stop condemning these men as rapists and murderers
But to see them as victims of the human condition,
Directed by a delusional (tor)mentor: the ego-mind.
I imagine them as little boys, all new and innocent,
Blindly believing every lie their mothers and fathers
Ever told them about tradition, family, pride, and revenge,
Long before they were old enough to even understand what marriage means.
And so I pray for their release
from the prison of their own unloving thoughts.