The Begging Gangs of Pakistan

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

A young man tells
of his daughter
kidnapped by gangs:

“They kidnap children
and cut off their arms or feet,
sometimes a leg,
and set them
in front of mosques so people
will drop coins in front of them.

“They place them throughout the city
and kidnap many children.

“Our daughter had escaped.
They pulled all her hair out.
She is always terrified.

“I used to think the Devil
was outside of us….
but we are the Devil.

“Humankind is the Devil.”


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry

9 responses to “The Begging Gangs of Pakistan

  1. This is very powerful and so true.

    Humankind is very much the Devil, or can be. Thereis evidence of this next door to us just as just as much as it may be at he other side of the world. . It is frightening.


  2. Indeed the Devil does not exist. As usual we have invented a persona outside of ourselves to blame, but evil only exists in the minds of humankind. Love, David

  3. Anna Mark

    Sadly, true — and I, too, am he or at least just as capable given the right circumstances to be that wretched.

  4. A frightful subject. I have a horrible feeling that these lines are probably based on actual news reports. I’ve tried to deal with a parallel case of reported kidnapping in a poem i’ve drafted myself, but I’m not ready to post it yet and not sure that I will be able to. I like the simplicity and directness in your poem.

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