Adeline Foster (Instructor of poetry, Hagerstown, MD)
Contempt can never be retrieved;
No wound of scorn will heal,
Though desperately apology
May pray the cut conceal.
Does but disdain reveal.
Not that which is called love employs
Put-downs disguised as jest;
Nor through the centuries of time
Has love survived such test.
Frustration at another’s deeds
Will ever plague mankind;
Impatience and intolerance
Have lived through endless time.
Would that a mental mirror
Could check that tell-tale stance:
The rage of silent anger
That screams aloud contempt,
The tilted head and narrowed eyes,
The lips tight pressed in scorn,
Unyielding in conviction when
Humility has flown.
Though honeyed words that would deny
The act had e’re been done
Defensively well-up the eye,
Deception has begun.
The strongest love will die before
Contempt can be undone.
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Poet's Notes about The Poem
A wife who has made fun of her husband
can love him no more. Might I add,
“or children their parents or husbands their wives.”