The F Word

Photo by jonas mohamadi on
The F Word

I learned my manners at Mother’s knee
until polite sounds came naturally.

She taught me to say, “Yes, please,” 
and “Thank you,” and “You’re welcome” 

until the words came naturally.

So when I fell and skinned my knee
or riled up a stinging bee,

I didn’t screech or foul the air— 
Mouthing ugly words I didn’t dare—

Nicer sounds just came naturally.

“Oh my,” I’d say to searing pain,
hoping my spot in Heaven gain.

I’ve lived my life while years have passed,
and know manners have changed so fast,

but still pleasant words come naturally. 

And so, I flinch, and cringe, and care
when the F word flies through the air.

I wonder too if Mothers have changed,
or greater forces have prevailed,

so that polite words no longer matter
in our daily human chatter,

And why cheap words come so naturally?

. . . j 
from th Childhood Remedy and Other Such collection

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