I Don’t Understand

I don’t understand
why people hate so easily.
I don’t understand
why we can’t get along.
I understand
people are different.
Different colors
different cultures
different beliefs.
I understand
some people do not like different.
Do not like the unknown
do not like change.
I don’t understand
why we hate so easily.
I think many truly do not understand
what hate is.
When I was young, I used the word hate freely.
I hate the color pink…
I hate when it’s too hot…
I hate Brussel sprouts…
I hate…you.
Until…
One glace
from eyes the blue of midnight skies.
One word
falsely uttered with the innocence of a newborn lamb.
One quirk from lips
which truth is as foreign as the deepest parts of space.
Such small simple gestures
sent a tidal wave of rage so strong
my knees threaten to cave.
My site dimmed
covered with the hazy red from the deepest pits
of hell.
My body trembled as if the earth itself
shook with my rage.
My voice squeezed down, down, down
until a hoarse whisper was my only sound.
Those around me did not understand.
Those around me did not see
the man who had destroyed so many lives.
Who had wrote misery and grief
death and chaos
most of all, fear
so he remained free.
Only then did I truly understand
the word hate.
How I had used the word in haste.
In disregard for the power
that single word held.
Now
I dislike pink.
I prefer a warm breeze to the hot sun.
As for Brussels sprouts…well
the word hate may still pertain
or at least a strong gag inducing distaste.
Most of all
I do not hate you.
Not for your differences,
not for your beliefs,
not because your way of seeing things is unusual
to what others may think as the straight and narrow.
I am willing to learn
what I don’t understand
because hate is a word, an emotion
I only reserve
for those people, places or things
that have truly earned the label of
hate.

© Copywrite 2021 Heidi Barnes