The F Word

The F Word
I learned my manners at Mother’s knee
until the words came naturally.
She taught me to say, “Yes, please,” 
“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.
Or when I say, “Thank you,” for kindness done,
I notice how the reply has become— 
“No problem,” spoken thoughtlessly.
I wonder too if Mothers have changed,
or greater forces have prevailed,
so that proper manners no longer matter
in our daily human chatter?
And why cheap words come so naturally? 
Photo by Nicholas Githiri on