Books are for Sissies

Evil-minionby Ethel Twigg01 Jul 2015

They burst in on the lad sat reading
far away from home, doing his duty
the laughter stung
books are for sissies, they said
but he carried on

Those books had been his escape
from the fear, violence and pain
chaos and burden of knowledge
when he was too small, too young to fight back
the books kept his mind from the bruises inflicted
in acts of betrayal by those charged with his care

Cheap romance novels with happy endings
covers depicting passionate embraces
practically inhaled by the shelf-load
no violent drunks or distasteful bottom-feeders rutting
the love, though saccharine, abundant and pure
there are worse places to be
than in an ideal alternate reality, where at least
love replaces cruelty