Some Lessons Are Harder Than Others


My mother warned me
Not to touch.
One tiny prick, she
Said, can cause a
World of pain.
But I didn’t listen,
You looked so smooth,
And the splinter barely
Hurt as it penetrated
Deep into my skin.
I cried to my mother
When you festered there,
Deep under my skin.
I warned you, she said,
It’s up to blood and body
Now. Prevention’s worth
A pound of cure.
But I didn’t listen,
You looked so small.
If I could cut you out,
The damage would heal.
But you had penetrated
Deep under my skin.
Deep into my blood.
Sailing for my heart,
One tiny shard of you,
All you gave to me,
Slicing through me.
I beat at my chest
And cried for my mother,
Needing to say good-by
Before I died of you.
And she held me, saying,
I told you not to touch.