He's a mean one, Mr. Troll
I wonder what soured his soul
enough to tell me
I was not attractive enough to worry
about being raped?
He’s had a hard day at work
gets off the elevator at his floor,
rattles the key to his apartment door.
Once inside, his briefcase
slams against the wall and he strips the buds
from the red geranium flowering in the hall.
The kitchen’s dark.
He opens the fridge takes a beer a sandwich
wrapped in plastic and opens his computer
sneering at the bleeding hearts that are always scurrying there
like the ants they are dependable, expendable.
He wants to smear their cherub heads across the screen
but instead he hunts
each one down, skewering and twisting.
His mouth metallic with excitement.
He can almost hear them moan.
He takes a swig of beer,
hates the dry and bitter aftertaste
but he’d never tell anyone.
He gets on his exercise bike and watches the news,
the weather channel, the shopping channel.
It’s going to rain tomorrow.
He wonders if his mother has that thing
that chops vegetables small,
into curls and flowers and stars?
I wrote the poem "Troll" in response to a recent experience online. On a news story by a major American broadcaster that several radio stations had banned playing the song "Baby it's Cold Outside," I commented that I had always found the song "gross and rapey." The comment brought a lot of hateful personal attacks as well as some support. I had questions about what drove people to spend time and energy on so much hate and did a little research about the motivation for trolling, and then wrote the poem in the voice of an imagined troll.