Bad Pain Good Pain

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Eleven years of age: false modesty
erupts; beginning sarcasm appears.
“Because I’m dumb,” my daughter says to me,
when I interrogate her. Leaking tears
from gruff frustration, with a tweener flounce
of head, she’s that embarrassed to be wrong.
“I’m such an idiot,” she’ll then pronounce,
her face declaring that her shame is strong.

“Oh dear,” I blurt. “There’s different types of hurt.
Sometimes it signals illness, wound, or both.
You have to pay attention,” I assert,
“unless the pain’s a symptom of your growth.
To err is how you learn – your wrong today
is just a blessed lesson on your way.”

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