This poem by Lauren Smith, who is a standout in my Modern Lit class, is an honest assessment of the power of words. In its brevity and casual tone, it stands out as a testament and admonishment to all: choose your words wisely, and know that the tongue wields fire and honey. What’s in a word? Peace, beauty, redemption, and love…but also dissent, cruelty, murder, and death. I love this poem. I hope you enjoy “Words.”


A light in the dark,

A song in the silence,

A thought in your mind,

A compass when you’re lost.


They can break down a wall,

Then build it back up,

they can melt a heart,

Then make it cold again.


Like a drink in the dessert,

Or poison to a heart,

Like a fire in the winter,

Or a knife in your back.


A word can save a heart,

and bring it back to life,

Or kill its spark,

and bury it forever.


The choice is yours,

will you save a life,

or smash it to dust?

A word can be the difference

between life and death.


© by Lauren Smith

All rights reserved.

May 25, 2016


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