They do not know

When I see them mock you,
insult you, neglect you, reject you,
cut you, stab you, defile you –

I want to rise up and
brandish my words and
rush to your defence.

But you
clasp my hand faster
and quietly shake your head.

"Mock me," I want to cry,
"insult me, neglect me, reject me,
cut me, stab me, defile me –

not the one I love,
not the one who has always
wooed you with nothing but kindness!"

Instead,
I clasp your hand faster
and quietly share in your pain.

8.12.10