Strength

 

Strength was never a characteristic

Which, given due consideration as I hid

From the branch of a low tree,

As a child, applied to me.

 

Later, the ways we walked together, and strange

People I encountered, down umber alleyways,

Meant me to seek a softer, a lost space.

It was always better, to be held.

 

And so you raised in me the desire

To be like you, to more wildly wander:

And be like you? But then, as you grinned

So sideways at me: it never did transpire.

 

And so I must learn

To unlearn you, and every habit

You placed in my hand like a plaything

To preoccupy and idly concern.

 

The hands, not to shake for another

Cigarette; the lips, unbitten;

The mind to bring to bear the life

That, thanks to you, I have not yet written.

 

I will unlearn you. I have, if not strength,

At least something more gentle, and more delicate,

Something you can never learn from me.

You will see this different strength from me, yet.

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