If I should speak and thereby cause a smile,
Secret, covert, to light the listener’s face,
Suspicion flames within me, and a cloud,
Dark with resentment, casts its shadow vile
Upon our happy converse. Loss of grace
Admits self pity, makes my spirit proud,
Arms me against imagined slight and guile.
We are most sensitive to every trace
Of quiet derision, yet of laughter loud
Less heedful, deeming it as infantile.
Stung to attack, with foes we can contend ;
They have no power our loving to assail ;
But what can pierce our self’s protective mail
Is the sly treason of a trusted friend !
Weekly Times 18.5.62