Is it contempt, that look on your face,
The twisted lips, the taunting eyes?
Facial contours transformed in a grimace,
Ostensible humor, stealth attack in disguise?

Or is it just some good natured ribbing,
With a baked in astringent feel,
That within a sleight-of-words, is hiding,
Anguished discontent you want to conceal?

They used to rankle, they used to sting,
Those barbed words, those remarks, snide,
Now they simply add another callused ring,
To a hardened soul that takes it all in stride.

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