When are you going to listen to her,
put her first
before the din of voices
“I am doing this for you,” they say, reproachfully,
and you are grateful, so very grateful –
as you put her needs aside just one more time,
just one more time,
you smile and laugh and thank them for their generosity,
and give and give and give the listening, support, presence – you can’t figure out why they want it-
your presence you diminish in your mind,
your presence you apologize for,
and so you let them decide for you. What you need. What you like. What you are so grateful to receive.
She gets so frustrated your stomach pitches as the wind buffets your house;
she’s shrill and childlike so you feed her
sugary treats to keep her quiet,
chips and, well, whatever she wants… because food is easy.
You grow soft as she pads herself thick,
inside this house she cannot defend.
What if you spoke her aloud?
What if you said “what I really want is time,”
what if you said “I want to do my work,”
what if you said “I am in pain, I want someone to rub my back, please, would you do that?”
What if you said “I would like to hear that you are proud of me,”
what if you said “I do not have the energy right now that you are asking for,”
Okay. So one day you do,
and they do not hear.
They continue as though lightning hasn’t struck the old house
as though it isn’t heating up the night as the flames consume its creaking, groaning beams
still, it’s burning.
Will you continue to live there, because to them, it still looks like the old house?
The point of this is simply:
one day, you’re going to have to let someone down. Maybe a lot.
Don’t let it be you. Not any more. Your very life depends on it.