is the onus on us to not retaliate 
to be the bigger person 
and grow a thicker skin
for your whole life you will have barbs thrown at you 

hurt and on the defensive 
the victim and the bully 

as if the objective is to be closed off
and less sensitive to 
words and blows 
to reject softness,

it is not my role to educate 
or to remain silent 

to overlook and move on 
while they spread vicious lies 

to shun vulnerability -
as a weakness 
that will leave us defenceless 
to those - 
already wearing full armour

kate © 

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