Poetry Thursday: Change is a bitch, but she's my bitch

road sign at sunset

You have likely forgotten
how wrenching
that last change you made
truly was

But it was

I have forgotten
a lifetime of changes
I chose for myself
and a second one
of those that were chosen for me.

Each time I woke up
was as jarring as the first

like an alarm you never get used to

or falling off a bicycle
the ground rushing up to greet you
and your unsuspecting elbows
with concrete reality.

Why choose change, then
when that bitch
has brought me nothing
but broken bones
and bandages
and recovery periods as painful as the pain itself?

I have seen what happens
when you hit the snooze button
too many times

I sat at her table
and saw her weep
stoic, Swedish tears
for choices not made
that were no longer hers to make

I sat by his bed
and witnessed him clawing at the air
with what strength he had left:
one last call
one last meeting
one last stab at being
the kind of alive he called living

I sat from a distance
and watched her die
slowly, by degree,
clutching her choices to her chest
to the very end.

My road here
has been paved
with the choices I made
but the wilderness beyond
has been illuminated
by the ones they did not.

Which is why I must
turn off here,
where the pavement stops
and only crazy people
venture forth.

Call me crazy
if you must
wish me luck
if you can
travel alongside
if you will...


Image by Mads Boedker via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.