by Ted L Glines
He used to be a kind and gentle soul,
giving warmth and cheers,
all of us throughout the years.
If you ever had a problem,
he would be your guiding light,
with his caring hand of help
to set your life a'right.
He often helped the bad and mean,
a friend beyond compare,
an angel's light in darkness,
with his only wish ... to share.
But the story of his end
was an awful gory chiller,
the way this gentle man
became a raving killer.
He gave away his goodness
to them and me and you,
and we gave him all our badness
which, inside him, grew and grew.
Even as he helped you,
he took your problems in,
absorbed them and condensed them,
and made them part of him.
Your neuroses and psychoses
slowly filled him like a page,
'til the day he bubbled over
in a blind and killing rage.
On the news, you saw his story,
pics of bodies everywhere,
and the sadness in his eyes
(he had nothing left to share).
Author's Notes: Not entirely fantasy, the process described in this poem is called "transference," and it can happen to therapists and psychologists whose empathy lures them into getting too much inside their patients.