Sticks and stones may break my bones
but words... 

words are the thorns
that have festered inside me
and i hold them there
in secret
(what if they're true?)
Turns out it's me
that wrapped them in barbed wire
to drag across my heart again
and again.

When my daughter 
started preschool
i sat alone among mothers
wearing my 
dredged-up differences
like a cage.

Six long years of high school
clanged inside my head -
the bells of wrath,
the wrath of belles
and boys
their insatiable appetite
for ridicule.

Only now
as the slow embrace
of friendship
with those same mothers
unlocks me,

my cage 
is learning to be a filter
instead of a home
and the barbed wire
is my web
hooking those words
hanging them
high as flies

before they're allowed in

4 thoughts on “Words

  1. a powerful poem replete with angry images; it’s good though you’ve turned things around and made the cage your filter; some great lines esp ‘the bells of wrath/the wrath of belles’ ; so much cruelty — as a species we seem to have an appetite for it 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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