I’m too tired
dear one
to refute your love of harm
or as you put it
hard but necessary truth
just as Swedish bitters are
good for you
spare the rod, spoil the child
so you ensured I learned the hard way
why then
do criticisms often taste
like gunpowder?
that overwhelming urge to correct at every turn
just like you were created to hurt?
what line, invisible or seen, exists?
to guide the critic in their pursuit
of picking apart the flaw
remaking anew and improved
you can do better
was my Christian name
you need to apply yourself more
the nightly prayer
and being absent
my response
you see
tear someone down consistently and enough?
you light them on fire
they become not as you hoped
your obedient (but inferior) acolyte
but something fragmented
a faulty firework longing to explode
earthbound and simmering beneath
your superior