Robin Kidson – The Roots of Empathy

The Roots of Empathy

The valley is a V
As all valleys must be.
We live on one downward side;
Our enemies live on the other.
In the bottom of the V is a river:
Wide, deep, fast, unfordable.
We shout insults to our enemies
On the other side.
They shout back.

Years ago, one of them
Managed to get over the river,
But we caught him and hung him to death.
He was just a boy, strong and fair.
We were surprised to see
How much he looked like you and me,
And how his private parts,
Hanging from the inverted V,
Looked very much like ours.

Robin Kidson was born and bred in a remote part of rural Northumberland but now lives near Bristol. He can occasionally be heard reciting his poems in the various poetry venues of that city – including the Lansdown pub in Clifton. He is a Newcastle United supporter but doesn’t require any sympathy.