Lashon Hara



Lashon Hara (the Hebrew term for defamatory speech or gossip)*

They stood under the southern live oak,

Who had heard every story told under her canopy of branches with leaves,

Living amongst these exterior walls for more than forty years.

Three angry women from various lives

Who daily congregate in the shade of the oak

To pick apart strangers as sporting game.

Without comprehending other’s lives or their own.

More than fifty years have vanished,

There they are, as if in a high school bathroom

Openly denying access

To those that are not members of the “in crowd.”

I stare at my wise beloved oak

That makes the world right, answering a multitude of questions.

The lowest branch holding a fledgling cooper hawk

Tearing apart its recently caught prey.

I smile and keep walking with my lesson for the day.

Nature is so truthful, so honest it hurts

Watching a species rip apart another for the hunger of survival

Unlike humans who rip each other apart for nothing more than sport.

*the halakhic term for derogatory speech (true speech for a wrongful purpose i.e. gossip)

All rights reserved. ©2016 by Sara Fryd


Automatic Weapons


she used words as bullets

when she felt weak or powerless

as she fired one insult in rapid succession

following another

watching him cringe

as if struck in slow motion

by hollow points

bleeding pools of aching tears

profusely all over the red oak floors


she felt she’d won this battle

not comprehending


she’d lost all the wars yet to come

on the horizon

for all his pecks, his huge muscles

given him to protect his body

his heart was surely as vulnerable as hers

and words can kill as surely as bullets

though the death toll is slower


an interminable amount of time

to die




All rights reserved. ©2016 by Sara Fryd

Black and Blue

She used to sayblack_and_blue,_abstract

“You’ll be sorry you were born a female.”

As if I had a choice at six

Little children come back for more.


She used to say

“You’ll be sorry you were born so smart.

Men don’t like smart women.”

I was twelve came back for more.


She used to say

“You’re so fat no one will want you.”

Twenty-nine, size five, a hundred three pounds

But I came back for more.


At forty-six the therapist said

“Words hurt more than bruises.”

          I pondered…

          I questioned…

          I wrote…  

No wonder I wear so much black

And paint my walls multiple shades of blue.


All rights reserved.  ©2009 by Sara Fryd

Weapons of Self Destruction

weapons of mine

The pen is mightier than the sword

They say and quote and regurgitate

So I write words

Healing the self

Any way that I am able

In notebooks with green lined paper

On sand at the beach

On napkins in delis

And 4 star restaurants with a view

I write and I write and I write some more


One day

Those derogatory remarks will dissipate with the summer showers

Washing my soul clean

Promising God to never say out loud

What was once said to me