I Love to Swear

detail of hand-painted textile, 1986


As the lover of words I am..

Swearing with authority is just plain good medicine.

I pity those who choose to deny themselves

The rip-roarin’ juice a confidently chosen “FUCK!” can deliver.

Often, these words are carriers of cultural or religious stains,

Tainting the utterance with a dampness effectively destroying their inherent power.

Most of the time they arrive unconsciously like an involuntary muscle spasm

And we are slightly alarmed at the fierceness that is ours.

My Episcopalian self

Most times stays hidden and curled

But when I swear she immediately pounces

Dressed in her starched and uber-white Sunday best

With some self-flagellating weirdness in her right hand

And offers it up to me.

I used to take the thing with my head lowered in shame.

Now I walk away.

Turning from her with my face hidden

My mouth curls into a slightly diabolical expression

Of intense but slightly dirty pleasure.

My eyes glitter.

I walk on.. straight and solidly contained.

I love the whole damn mess.


3 Responses to “I Love to Swear”

  1. Judy on June 28th, 2015

    Glad to find a fellow traveler in the land of cursing.

  2. Paul on June 28th, 2015

    I can’t understand how some people get through life without swearing. It is a cheap therapy and it often enables me to laugh at myself.

  3. Judith Henry on June 29th, 2015

    This made me smile. There were so many things I loved about my mom, including the fact that we shared the same taste in curse words. At 90, she was still dropping the F-bomb when a situation called for it.

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