I wasn’t the one who said those things
So I was okay
I was free to laugh along
Free to be part of the in crowd
and laugh at the right jokes
even when they were cruel
and designed to break another’s spirit.
I didn’t say them.
They wern’t my idea.
This was the excuse I made for myself.
So I could sleep at night.
So I could tuck those hurt looks away
It wasn’t my words.
I was just an observer.
Now years later, I finally understand.
As I wipe the tears off my child’s face.
I see the hurt I watched inflicted on another.
(I don’t have kids, but based on a thought I once heard. Before you say something, imagine someone else saying it to your child. Would you like it?)