The Gift of Candor

Give it to me straight. 

Tell me like it is.

I can take it.

Clean and simple.

Crystal clear.

But the truth is, 

we often beat around the bush.

Decorating our message

with pleasantries 

and niceties

creating fantasies

with rose colored glasses.

I had a girlfriend once

back in the old college days

when truth was hard to find

and everybody

wanted somebody

to be with

and call their own.

She had a gift.

The gift of candor.

She said what she thought

and meant what she said

a real straight-shooter.

One particular Sunday

she took my hand

warmly into her own

walking me through the church doors

out to her car

with a twinkle in her eye

and a smile across her face

“I have a gift for you.”

My pace quickened

both in step

and in pulse




“Close your eyes…”

Brief visions passed:

An encouraging card?

A home-made lunch?

Tickets to the ball game?

Or the new action thriller?

She set it in my grasp.


round, and



“Okay, you can look.”

A jar.

Of stridex pads.

For my lingering teen acne.

Heart sink.

“Um, thanks.”

I had a girlfriend once,

Who had a gift.

She gave it to me straight. 

She told me like it was.

Clean and simple.

Crystal clear.

I had a girlfriend once.

She had a gift.

The gift of candor.

Slice of Life Day 3


18 thoughts on “The Gift of Candor

  1. These lines struck me most:

    Give it to me straight.

    Tell me like it is.

    I can take it.

    I remember reaching a point in my life where I thought this could ring true. Like you, there were times when this came to fruition and my”heart sank” as well. I though I could take it. There’s just some things I can’t. I guess I’m still working on my “imperfections.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I made an audible gasp when I read this. What?! Who does that? (Cleary this girlfriend.) I agree with your readers, the structure of this poem creates suspense. It quickened the pace for me. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Oh no!!! What a let down when you’re thinking you’re going to get a sweet gift. I’m wondering the same thing as Erika – how long did she remain your girlfriend after that?! Love the structure of your poem.


  4. I like this poem. I like the repetition of it. I was thinking about it in a different way by the time I got to this the second time:
    I had a girlfriend once.

    She had a gift.

    The gift of candor.

    I work with a woman who has this “gift” but hasn’t quite learned how to use it without offending.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. OMG you had me going with this one! This is wonderfully written with glimpses into the feelings, the anxieties, and the condor you each faced at that small moment in time. Beautifully captured!

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  6. Ugh I’ve been guilty of verbal candor but the Stridex medicated pads take the cake. Worse than being asked by a coworker when you’re due ( and your last baby is 3). Ugh but still she served a purpose , made you stronger ?

    Liked by 1 person

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