The thorned tongue: A poem

Words hurt
Jessica Doojphibulpol/File

“Sticks and stones may break my bones,

But words will never hurt me.”

Words cut. Deeply.

Like a dagger, ready to impale

Soft and delicate flesh.

 

“Sticks and stones may break my bones,

But words will never hurt me.”

Words inflict tremendous damage

Like a lion mauling its prey.

 

“Sticks and stones may break my bones,

But words will never hurt me.”

What they say is simply a tale

That leaves a quiet soul impaled.

 

Sticks and stones won’t break my bones,

But words do hurt me.

How ignorant is one to see

That I am a simple being?

 

Sticks and stones won’t break my bones,

But words do hurt me.

In lonely,

Sleepless nights,

At 3 a.m.,

Words painfully resonate through my mind.

       

Sticks and stones won’t break my bones,

But words do hurt me,

Like a restless child,

Abandoned,

Begging for its mother,

Hopelessly awaiting another lullaby.

 

Sticks and stones won’t break my bones,

But words endure.

While bruises fade and wounds heal,

The implications of a jagged tongue lacerates.

 

Similar to a snake bite,

Words do not kill.

But the venom induced by the sharp-edged fang

Immobilizes its prey,

Slowly, then all at once.

Contact Mariah De Zuzuarregui at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @mdezuzuarregui.