Watch Your Words

Words are like eggs dropped from great heights; you can no more call them back than ignore the mess they leave when they fall. — Jodi Picoult, American author, Salem Falls

I was only kidding, you say.
Why can’t you take a joke?
When did you lose your sense of humor?
Sorry, you can’t take hurtful words back.

You shake your head in disgust at me
(Or perhaps yourself), and you declare we just
Won’t talk at all since I’m so dumb-witted.
Sorry, you can’t take hurtful words back.

Every school kid is aware that it’s sticks
And stones that break one’s bones, not words.
But words can do more damage than splitting bones.
And you can’t take hurtful words back.

Accusations, snide remarks, outright lies
Can wound right to a person’s inner core,
Bringing tears, self-doubt, misery, and despair.
And you can’t take hurtful words back.

Words have power, longevity, and emotion.
It’s crucial we treat them with care and respect,
Not letting angry, vicious thoughts cross our tongues.
Because you can’t take hurtful words back.

When used for good, words can be uplifting,
Surrounding others with affirmation and hope,
Encouraging, praising, sustaining, loving.
But you can’t take hurtful words back.

Note: This poetic form is called a Refrain.

“Kind words are the music of the world. They have a power which seems to be beyond natural causes, as if they were some angel’s song which had lost its way and come to earth.” — Frederick William Faber, Catholic priest and English hymn writer