Thursday, May 28, 2015

NEW POEM: "Using Your Words"

Image "WPLetter - closeup" from
Using Your Words
By Judith Cullen
© 2015

The billboard announced, the message weaving its way
Among great deals on tires, and tempting vacation spots.
“Words Hurt” it said, simple and clear.

The song’s plaintive tenor wailed on the radio,
Wedged between”My Sharona,” and “Barbra Ann”
“It’s only words,” it declared innocently.

Words can be convicts fleeing solitary confinement,
Escapees from the dark depths of your baser self.
Once out of your control, they rend and tear.

Weapons wielded, consolations offered, gifts shared,
And concrete wads of unconsidered, crumpled thoughts
Tossed without forethought, or latter concern.

Words can be all we have:
To shred psyches, to build confidence,
To take esteem, to deny a heart,
To offer kindness, to impart true affection

How many might still roam unrestricted? children of mine
Roaring around the landscape with havoc in their wake
Once they are out, not neatly or easily contained.

Are they really what I meant?
It is never “only” words. 
“Words Hurt” it said, simple and clear.

And they can.


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