Raymond A. Foss


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Echoes of Words

He was so right
echoing in my mind
in the sanctuary
in the power of words,
especially the power to hurt
the ability to cut to the quick
to leave lasting deep permanent scars
so hard to mend, to heal
the old saying is that sticks and stones
are the enemy
that names cannot hurt, leave lasting damage
but oh if it were only so,
if imprudent or malicious words
were like water running off a leaf
in the rainforest, even a torrent no threat
but they are like water that erodes
reverberation, exacerbation,
water that corrodes,
eats away at the foundation
the core of a person, their sense of
worth, or being, a word can cause wounds
deep raw wounds
when words can save, lift up, build the body
join people across deep chasms of history
love, the source of the word, the gospel,
the good news, an equal measure of our heritage
bringing joy, happiness, comfort
these too are our choice
based on the turn of the tiller
the rudder of our tongue