April 10, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

PA photo



I.B. Rad



The Terrorist



Such a pleasant face,

so benign

as in ‘wouldn’t hurt a fly,’

who would have thought

he’d die a terrorist?

Did his selfie lie?

Could he have started out

some mommy’s precious child

laughing at a puppy’s antics,

liking pizza,

rooting for a football team

with boyhood pals?

So why then

did he grow so inured

to inflicting pain

or even death?

Did he succumb to a brain dysfunction,

a mental abnormality?

Was he taught a foreign ideology,

some sacrosanct creed

of his favored group

that transcended suffering of ‘others?’

Were family or friends

disfranchised by an ‘enemy’

or did some other kind of tribulation

or extreme disappointment

test his humanity?

Was a key ingredient

a life so vacuous,

a cultural alienation so profound,

he craved a terrorist’s clarity and belonging,

a moth to the flame?

Unfortunately, we’ll never know,

for as he was fatally shot

authorities can only analyze his history,

investigate his internet activity,

interview those who knew him,

and speculate on an answer.

Still, in the end,

varied pundits will mouth

the received wisdom

that he was nothing

but a demented savage.

But then, had I or mine been harmed

by a terrorist’s act,

what would my reaction be?












I.B. Rad

I.B. Rad lives in New York city with Mrs Rad and their valued canine companion. He is widely published with much of his work available on the internet. His book, “Dancing at the Abyss,” was recently published by “Scars Publications.”

1 Comment

  1. P C K PREM April 10, at 09:25

    A terrifying peep into the psychology of a terrorist. It creates nervousness and terror ...a face cannot speak of the mind...perhaps.


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