Sticks and Stones

Fat toad!

Ugly cow!

Stupid, dummy, loser…

Sticks and stones may break my bones,

But words?

Words so slowly kill me.

Epithet born of anger,

Hurled thoughtless at friend or stranger.

Lies and half-truths on wings take flight,

Child-like blows harsh but light.

But what of truth?

What do I do when your words have merit?

Just a…

housewife, janitor, mommy.

Uneducated, Alone, Poor.

These aren’t just phrases,

Empty parrot.

But crash against who I wish to be.

Erode like silt my feeble image,

Dream of shoulds and oughts.

I clamber back for some stable footing,

Who I was, could be, chose to be, want to be.

Is it enough to claim contentment,

When threads of doubt pill my conscience?

Come unraveled seeking solace.

Tomorrow rises, echo of before,

And I’m still me, just me.

And nothing more.

Composed for Thursday Poet’s Rally

Friends discovered in common language,

Words compelled or chosen.

Found or sought, rhymed or random.

Their motives subjective to imagination.

There lies the beauty, the joy, the appeal,

Every poem, every word, to each one,

Real.

I nominate Wolfsrosebud for the Perfect Poets Award!