Milk (Tread Carefully) — a poem about strange relationships and lessons learned
Milk (Tread Carefully)
Doesn't it seem deliberately ignorant
that I'm swallowing pills to numb the pain
that my loved ones have thrust upon me,
after having watched you do the same,
after having watched you kill the pain,
watching your family circle the drain,
when all you wanted was to be that clan
and be that strong and hold those hands?
Human relationships are inexplicable.
I'm as lost in them now as I ever was.
I can sense the judgment even in the love.
I don't think anyone will ever understand me
the way that I understood you, unconditionally.
But the magic between us was the super distance,
the miles and miles of mountains and desert
that kept the love from becoming resentment,
that kept the dream enclosed safely in glass
like your awards and baubles and gems.
It kept us sweet. It kept us friends.
With no beginning, we cannot end.
The real can't hold a candle to pretend.
Still I spend day and night studying your moves,
learning new lessons as I watch the same sessions.
Some are honed in school but I was honed by you.
I spin to thrill, swallow a pill, sip that milk, get that ill.
Sleep comes and saves me from the endless mundane,
bringing waves of you to motivate and cleanse away
all the bits of death that cling and suffocate.
I'm not ready to go. I'm just building my stage.
I'm not coming with you. Not yet, anyway.
The fact that encourages and inspires me now
is that the electricity in the air feels like it did then.
When I was born, things were different,
and they're swinging back there again.
Cynical nothing revolves to reveal hopeful everything.
The meaningless is suddenly pumped full of meaning.
And best of all, life is fun. We can play and we can sing.
It's not all about the quota or how much they owe you.
I might just carve that dream into my life's tree,
might just craft that career that sets me free,
might just cull that guiding group that loves me.
Yes, sweetie, for now I will pop that pill and let it soothe me.
But just the type and the amount that the good doc prescribes.
No pill pushers on my roster, no doctor shopping on my agenda.
And as much as I'd love a yes man or two
to undo the damage of the endless "no-no-no,"
I will keep my smart, levelheaded friends at my side
and let no others in our small and well-chosen circle.
You will dance along the outskirts, unbeknownst to all but me.
You will forever fuel my creativity. I'll forever tread carefully.
I'll remain as long as I can, embellishing and gilding our legacy.