Martyr’s Lament

I wake before dawn,
drive through blinding snowstorms,
if lost, alter course – without faltering –
even set out on foot when driving
becomes impossible, navigating
treacherous snow and ice, for you

So you can get where you need to be
So you can succeed
I risk it all for you

I keep you by my side
so that you will be safe
so that I can ensure your arrival

But, I grow weary, and my body
won’t go on, and all I ask for
is that we rest awhile,
so that I can catch my breath

And in that instance, you are gone –
no hesitation in your step, no looking back –
and when you finally stop to wait for me
it is too late…

A barrier has grown between us:
like an eight-foot, chain-link fence
separating me from protecting you

And you look at me with that glare
of exasperation that says:
“I should have done it on my own.”

Wait! Wait, I say.
This wall may seem insurmountable
but I can do it. I can do it; give me time.
I’ll just climb to the top.
It’ll be easy; you’ll see!

Don’t walk away! Give me one more chance
to prove my love. I do it all for you.

(Martyr’s Lament first appeared here in November, 2014.
This version is a rewrite. Image my own.)

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

33 thoughts on “Martyr’s Lament”

  1. This is beautiful and bittersweet, VJ. Like the lack of empathy a child sometimes has for their parent, not understanding all they do for them. You expressed it so well in the dialogue. Really well done ❤️

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  2. Smiling in recognition, VJ. I think each of us has an inner martyr – this such a CLEAR portrait, and a marvelous recording. Here’s to both recognition of those fences and to the intuition that gets us over them. Those frustrated others just want us to keep up to their pace … and “get over it” (fences thrown up in our exhaustion).

    Liked by 2 people

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