You always hurt the one you love


The Mills Brothers

Do you ever wonder what your brain is doing while you sleep? If you’re like me, you also  wonder what it’s doing while you’re awake.


This morning I woke up with two rhymes in my head. The first (thankfully) has only one stanza, the second has two.


Like the majority of  people who majored in English, I’m a failed poet. That doesn’t stop me from writing it, of course, but when I fail, I tend to fail in free verse. I’m not going to try to fix or clean up the rhymes that were in my head this morning, so if you have a weak stomach, I suggest you avert your eyes from the rhyme scene. It may be too gruesome for you. The first goes like this:


Have you seen how love ebbs and leaves the shore

Flowing out to sea, seen no more?

Have you felt the chill when love shuts the door

Quietly because it has other places it must go?


I’ve written some posts about my mother recently and have been thinking how she spent her whole life looking for love. She found it for a while, but then lost it when my father died in an accident.


One of her pet phrases was “You always hurt the one you love.” She would often say it in a teasing way to my sister or me, but I never paid much attention to it. I learned later that it was from a hit song The Mills Brothers sang in 1944. Mother would have been in her second marriage then, getting beat up on a regular basis. For her, perhaps, it was a hit song in more ways than one. Here are the lyrics:


You always hurt the one you love,

The one you shouldn’t hurt at all.

You always take the sweetest rose,

And crush it till the petals fall.

You always break the kindest heart,

With a hasty word you can’t recall.

So, if I broke your heart last night,

It’s because I love you most of all.


I attribute my morning’s first rhyming thought to mother and the elusiveness of love. But I mentioned there were two rhymes in my head this morning. Here’s the second one:


Little Billy Martin

liked to pick his nose.

He liked to poke, he liked to prod

Then wipe it on his clothes.


When friends saw Billy Martin

They always liked to shout.

Stop it Billy Martin

and take your finger out!



Don’t ask me where that one came from. I don’t have a clue.


10 thoughts on “You always hurt the one you love

  1. Thanks for the Mills Brothers! The second is a TRUE POEM, in that once read, it seems always to have existed. Ah, that Martin family. This takes its place alongside a couple of others I dimly recall and will try to dredge up for the family album.

    • The poem at the end is weird, but it was part of my waking up thoughts. The first one made me think about my mom; the last one made me wonder what my brain was doing while I was sleeping. : )

  2. Ha,,,,,I know from whence you speak.. Sometimes they just come out of nowhere and are embraceable….And yet, sometimes they are like illegal aliens, that you wish could be deported. I’ve even had a few,(quite a few actually) that I could not in good taste, even put to paper for fear of someone finding them.

  3. In the first poem, I like the transition from the third line, to the pretty and unexpected fourth line. The second one is fun and poppy (Shades of Shel Silverstein! V. nice!).

    What I am really enjoying about your blog is the way you juxtapose one idea against another very different idea, with a singular thematic thread. This quality of your writing is seamless!

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