Et tu, Brute

There are words that can cut like knives;
I have no use for the likes of such;
And when friends brandish them for woe,
That does seem to account for much.

They spin through the air and draw blood,
Much like some martial arts movie;
And they are sent with desires to wound
To decimate my self completely.

I see the glee in the eyes as they take aim;
The thoughtful precision of a taunt,
The cocking of the brow and curling lip
That releases the word designed to haunt.

I have never known the pleasure of this;
Perhaps it goes against my grain,
The way I was taught and reared and loved
Not to strike back in kind; but refrain.

In laughter, much is said that wouldn’t be,
In laughter, wounds are made as well as healed,
In laughter, words are made and broken,
In laughter, much malice is artfully concealed.

It depends on how we choose to use it;
May a smile, that softly reaches the eyes,
Overtake a barbed word, that spins forth,
Before a patchwork of marked lies.

May soft eyes, genuinely, care to safeguard
Tender feelings and genuine pleasure;
May everyone be happy and sane
And let what is leisure remain leisure.

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