A Poem: HATE

My brain is mush this week (Where are you at Christmas break??? This teacher can’t even speak coherently anymore.), so I’m using this opportunity to share a poem I wrote last year and posted on Facebook.


HATE—
looks like a simple word.
What does it mean?
The opposite of love?
Move it around,
and it
flames
into

HEAT.

HEAT that sizzles, burns, consumes:
including everything.
including love.
What’s left?
Nothing but HATE.

Try it again
What is HATE backwards?

ETAH.

Nonsense.
Even backwards.
Backwards and forwards.
HATE is nonsense.

What happens when you drop a letter: E?
It gives you and me
and everyone in between a

HAT

conveniently.
To hide behind.
Because you’re scared.
Because you and me
and everyone in between is scared.
Of what we don’t know.
Of what is different from what we do know.
So it must be wrong.
So you and me
and everyone in between
wear HATs to hide our HATE.

Maybe the problem with HATE
is the H at the front.
That pesky H.
It’s always been my least favorite letter in the alphabet.
I’ve had a problem with that letter since
I was taught to HATE that letter.

But what happens when you do drop the H?
You’re left with

ATE

Or did the HEAT
from the HATE
grow so strong that it finally ATE
that pesky H?
Because that’s what HATE does.
It can

EAT

away the good.
The common sense.
The logic.
But who needs logical reasoning when HATE
is an emotion?
Because feelings
are more important than facts?
Oh wait.
Not true.
That’s the HATE talking again.
But who cares about logic when
your feelings are hurt?
HATE doesn’t.
It’s what it wants.

So let’s choose to stop
the HEAT,
the ETAH,
the HAT,
the ATE,
the EAT,
of HATE,
and instead
have some

TEA

With our neighbors.
With our communities.
And discuss.

Discuss adding an R to that dreaded word.
Not to create a HATER.
The world has enough of those.

Move those letters around some more.
Feel how this word sounds in your mouth:

HEART.

That’s much better.

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