Recently, I discovered that someone I had considered a good friend actually turned out not to be a friend at all. With the sensation of the knife still very firmly lodged in my back, I wrote this poem.
Don’t call me “friend”:
The line in the sand speaks otherwise.
You will call me by my name,
Not by any epithet
Laden with negativity and hate
That you might choose it its place.
You will not speak behind my back
To belittle or undermine what you don’t understand,
You can say it to my face.
Think of me as you will,
Sharpen your darts
And load them with your poison.
They cannot do any more harm
Than those you have already fired.
Inoculated by the first dose,
I am immune.
I will not live with a target on my back,
I will not give your words currency,
Your antipathy does not define me.
Do not sit in judgement while pretending to show respect,
For that is a most dishonest mirror,
As deceitful as the one who uses it.
And when your conspiracy unravels
In the smoke of the gun in your hand,
Don’t look to me for sympathy
Or forgiveness to salve your wounds,
Don’t call me names.
Don’t call me anything.
Just don’t call me.
©2018 Joanne Van Leerdam