LIFE'S SCARS

They say the world is round, and yet
I often think it square,
So many little hurts we get
From corners here and there.
But one great truth in life I've found,
While journeying to the West --
The only folks who really wound
Are those we love the best.

The man you thoroughly despise
Can rouse your wrath, tis true;
Annoyance in your heart will rise
At things mere strangers do;
But those are only passing ills;
This rule all lives will prove;
The ranking wound which aches and thrills
Is dealt by hands we love.

The choicest garb, the sweetest grace,
Are oft to strangers shown;
The careless mien, the frowning face,
Are given to our own.
We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal many a thoughtless blow
To those we love the best.

Love does not grow on every tree,
Nor true hearts yearly bloom.
Alas for those who only see
This cut across the tomb!
But soon or late, the fact grows plain
To all through sorrow's test:
The only folks who give us pain
Are those we love the best.

The Best Loved Poems of the American People by Hazel Felleman, New York: Doubleday, 1936. p. 645.


Back to Poem Index