At times it seemed to him that those he knew

Had all been wounded, that each savage scar

Recalled some battle fought by parents, who

Had used them, young, to man the marriage-war.

The over-laughing friend so suddenly sad,

The stammerer plunging for a different word,

And there behind that accent, one who had

Lost touch with anything but the absurd;

These, and those desperate others, sought, wild sons,

Love after love that was no love at all:

The tyrant fathers and the weakling ones

Had killed them captive to their mother’s thrall.

Always the loveless parents were to blame;

Or had their childhoods too been just the same?