Who Am I, If Not Responsible?

This pedestal of responsibility
has elevated me, out of reach,
out of touch – lumps together
children, mate, mother, sister…

Caregiver extraordinaire
present overcrowded by
obligations…am unwell,
off topic, fed up, surely…

I am other abled, have room
for more – not martyr related –
hesitant to plan, my purpose
for being so intricately tuned

to the needs of others, should
quit while I’m ahead – silence
the inner nag – free us all
from this unhealthy game.

(This poem first appeared on One Woman’s Quest II
in September, 2016. Edited here. Image my own.)

Sisterly Love

It’s just a moth, I offered
that blue moon night
rattling windows
chafing nerves

We’d chosen exile –
sister and I – refuge
from family demons,
not ours to claim

Innocence borrows
responsibility – I bore
it like a badge;
she shattered

Could not discriminate
darkness from her own
inner light – sought
to end the fury

I’ll carry us both,
I murmured, too young
to recognize the magnitude –
altruism destined to fail.

She’s buried now
beneath the madness
her mind the moth
slamming against my pain.

(Image my own.)

The Lie

I lied.

The initial seed of disappointment has fermented,
and in the absence of confrontation, grown roots

written sorrowful chapters
conclusion: unworthiness

Why couldn’t I just have said:
I don’t understand
this makes me unhappy?

Where did I learn that prevarication protects
that I alone am responsible for emotions
that I do not matter?

Decades later
I still cannot uproot the weed
the lie remains.

(Image my own)

Tired of Same Old Endings

Tired of same old endings
in which hopes are slaughtered
and tragedy and insanity win.

Raised by the bottle, learned
to set standards low –
still afraid of heights –
have fallen as the ground
beneath my aspirations crumbled –
a certainly under alcohol’s rule.

Tired of same old endings
in which self is battered by indifference
and ego loses the battle for control.

Mother’s denial a coping mechanism
negating children’s need, obliterating
safety, disregarding long-term damage;
even in older years, when we tried
to get her out, were powerless against
his manipulation, his eternal imprinting.

Tired of same old endings
in which the heroine, resources spent
succumbs to the madness, suicides.

Want to believe in a future, greener,
hopeful, in which relationships
are fulfilling, and life goals are
supported; in which encouragement
is not the ploy of deviousness, and
personal best is rewarded, sustained.

Tired of same old endings
haunting my dreaming hours
unforgotten in waking dreams.

(Tired of Same Old Endings first appeared here June of 2018.
Edited for this submission. Linking up with Reena’s Xploration
Challenge: insanity, and Eugi’s Weekly Prompt: unforgotten.
Image my own.)

Fetch

Father taught us to fetch –
What else are children for?

I did not like his demeaning sneer
nor the way he lorded control

Mother learned to ask how high
when he snapped: “Jump!”

I vowed to be different
to never let him break me

But his arms were stronger
and my fear real, and so

From my father, I’ve learned to fetch –
Anything else I can get you, Dear?

(Ragtag’s Daily Prompt, hosted by Sgeoil is fetch. Image my own.)

Hiding Shame

When did guilt obviate
the need for sustenance?

This deipnophobia paralyzing
heartless stares dredge up

my truth: insatiable hunger
need to stuff down emotion

the certainty that I deserved
the abuse – endless shame

My fork traces the outlines
separates food groups

My mind makes mental notes
of what I’ll gorge on later.

(Deipnophobia is the fear of dining in public. I watched my older sister avoid eating when with others, and then gorge afterwards. I had not known there was a term for it until I came across this prompt. Image my own.)