How many times
Have you tried to share
Something you loved
With a friend –
Something that moved you,
That made you see your life more clearly –
Some work of art, a song perhaps.
They would encourage you to share,
But then dismiss it
Would ridicule it even
As it played for the first time, not
For a moment consider
That it might have merit
If it had meaning for you.
For them, it was just an opportunity
To prove that they had better taste
Than you; that you, in fact,
Were stupid in comparison to them.
This was a triumph, another occasion to sneer,
Though they would still call you a friend,
Though they’d deny
that hurting you was their intention, claim
You’d asked for their opinion, after all.
They’d say they only gave you honesty,
Though all you got from them was their hostility.
Does rudeness ever demonstrate good taste?
And is it ever really honest? If this
Were really simply an opinion, what were they
So angry about? You didn’t invite
and yet you’d cling to it
for years, no matter how much
you’d want to forget it.
What you thought was a moment
In a grown-up friendship
Was high school all over again – worse,
The playground from childhood. And you
Saw it for exactly what it was.
Later, they’d pretend
They didn’t understand
Why things were no longer the same, as if
They didn’t see their little victory –
They’d proved to you
Your taste was bad, all right –
Your taste in friends, that is.
You’d fix that, but
You’d never tell them why.
In fact, you’d never again
Why give even a grinning enemy
Another round of ammunition?
-- © 2010 by Jack Veasey
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