Ten Poems: Arguing With Myself

1:
I made ten thousand extra dollars last year from my retirement account.
Because I started a retirement account young, and set up automatic payments years ago.
And suddenly, I get my statements, and poof,
Look at all that money I won’t touch until I’m old.
How can I complain about corporations profit margins
When here is literal proof in my hands,
That I’m benefitting.
How can I argue anything when I can see both sides,
When I change my mind,
When I’m not informed enough,
When I’m not good enough to think the thoughts I think?

2:
I don’t want to hear her talk about politics.
I can’t stand it.
Whine near someone who can do something,
You’re talking to a crowd who already agrees with you.
You’re not promoting action, you’re reveling in drama.
This isn’t constructive. We’re spinning our wheels in our own wheelhouse.
Let’s go to a city council meeting.
Talk to someone who doesn’t agree and let’s plan something concrete,
We all know he’s crazy.

3:
I don’t want these men to lose their jobs until their guilt has been proven.
At the same time, if the justice system fails victims so often, public court is all we have.
But if you’re just getting rid of the attackers from public sight, you’re not fixing the problem.
Stories are to be believed as much as fact.
But I still want proof, even if it’s testimony.
I want better education about what’s right and wrong,
And I want it to come from parents.
Not from schools. I want what’s right to be clear.
At the same time, I doubt this would happen.
All we have left is sensationalism law,
That will break so quickly on a false accusation.

4:
I want a doctor to be able to kill her.
She never would have wanted this.
I think she deserves the right to want to die.
She’s there already.
I know it’s a slippery slope.
But for god’s sake the woman can’t swallow food anymore.
She’s not hungry.
Can we please kill her?
Please?
I can’t keep watching my mom try to take care of a dying plant.

5:
I am not defined by my work.
That is not where I fit into society.
He’s wrong.
I do not need work to be a part of anything.
Work is an option.
This nine to five is a western concept, as is steady employment.
Sure the factories employed people with a little extra money to go the movies on a Saturday,
But no one likes working in a factory.
These jobs were soul-sucking to begin with.
The economy was better, life measurements were better.
How did we get to this categorization? Of people.
Have you ever tried to categorize people?
Their feelings?
Good luck.
Because I am a person, my worth, my value, is there.
It is not in how much I can fit on my little black screen.

6:
Pick someone and go with it.
I’m tired of all this back and forth and over-analyzing.
You’re tired of being alone, just find someone.
It’s a fifty-fifty chance anyway.
This one will be as good as the next.
I’m tired of looking for a reason to be alive,
Why don’t I do everything wrong,
Throw my lot in with a stranger,
Tie myself emotionally to something unstable,
Have no identity of my own,
And wear some sort of apron thing.

7:
We’re not going to be friends.
We have gone through hell,
Known as our current job,
Together.
And we are bonded.
But you’ll never hang out with me outside those,
Those doors right there.
Those glass double doors.
Because you don’t see people like I do.
As entities to enter your life, and love while they’re there,
As a whole person already.
You’re using me to get through our jobs.
I understand.
And I’ll leave you to it.

8:
How do I standup to her?
Why does she get to be mean to her,
But if I’m mean back, I get yelled at.
That’s not fair.
I have to get out of here.
But I have nowhere to go.
I’m a failure. I keep cycling here.
There’s nothing new.
Something in me has to change.
I need perspective.
Let me stand on a desk,
Or forget about time for a while.

9:
You know what I did today?
I applied for new jobs,
After all that worry.
I organized, folded, washed dishes and my hair,
I prepared and thought out, and now.
Well I was waiting for someone to come over,
But they’re putting me off, and now,
Now I don’t want to do anything else today.
Why can’t I be happy with myself?

10:
My mother said I should offer to take my sister to the gym with me.
Because I’m trying to be healthy.
Because I’m losing weight.
And suddenly, it was about my sister,
Mom thinks she’s worried about her weight again,
Like she was for years in high school,
Doesn’t she remember how many years we’ve been dealing with this.
I cannot make her happy with her own body.
I can barely keep me up here on the line, and you’re putting pressure,
Blaming me,
Trying to get me to make her happy with her body too?
Why can’t it be about me?
She sang to me yesterday in the car, middle child syndrome,
When I said no one was home to take care of me during my wisdom-teeth removal surgery.

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5 thoughts on “Ten Poems: Arguing With Myself

  1. Claudia McGill

    I love your work and your clarity of thought and feeling. Reading the above comment, I’m a 50+ woman and that reply is right. Just keep going. And you’re doing that, I see it. I like where you seem to be heading.

    Reply
  2. talesbytink

    The breadth of experiences here… I like the overall title because the whole lot together really shows how complex and multifarious our lives really are, the layers, the complexities, the relationships, the frames of reference, the circles of intimacy and influence that cycle around inside us at any given moment in time. Depths. And a real maturity shining out in the writing itself; confidence and a sure style. Your diligence in this ten poem thing is to be admired, and I do. How long have you been doing it now? I’ve been following you for a couple of years now at least. It’s impressive, anyway, the steady output, the growth, in your writing and in your personal journey.
    I remember asking an older woman once (I was 27 at the time, she was in her 50s), how you got to that place of sureness in yourself that I saw in older women. I hated her answer, but it has proven to be absolutely correct, and you are a living model of it. She said, ‘You just keep walking.’

    Reply

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