Treasure Island

Amanda Saveley

(December 29,1987 / Omaha, Nebraska)

Crooked Paths Seldom Cross Twice


Let’s be honest,
Not mince words here.
We never were ones to beat around the bush.
We’re not bush babies, you know.
But we are people of the poem
And as such,
It seems like the only way to get through to you.
So here goes:

Brother,
Whose diapers I helped change
And whose hand I held
As we crossed the many paths along our lives,
You terrify me.
I never know what to expect from you these days,
And maybe that’s how you like it.
I can understand it all, really,
I was nineteen once.
Bad year, as I recall,
And I’m not proud of any of it.

Stubborn,
Proud,
Angst-filled words filled my mind and mouth
As I bluntly tried to smash our mother’s heart
In a cruel attempt to get my feelings across.
Bladed words,
Long e-mails of cold contempt,
And we didn’t speak for days.
Bad idea, as I recall,
And I’m not proud of any of it.

So I can understand
How you might feel misunderstood.
How you might misfire in your attempts to make clear
All of your intentions.
I’ve been there.
But I can honestly say
I’ve never been down the road as far as you.
Because I’ve been terrified to go.
Inner restraint keeps me back,
Desire to accomplish goals
Set before me long before I even knew
What it meant to be young and free.

I love you, brother.
Don’t ever doubt that for a second.
But while I say that on the tip of my tongue,
Flip it over and find my outrage.
For you will find that I am simply unamused
At your random acts of selfishness.
And had I not experienced them myself
At your own hand,
I may still yet go unbelieving.

But I love you,
Which is why I remain devoted,
Despite the fact
That you’ve broken my heart as well.
You let go of my hand
And crossed paths I dare not tread,
For fear of no return.
No repair.

So please, brother,
Find your way back.
I don’t want to lose you.
Don’t cross any more paths
Where I cannot follow.
I want to see you grow,
Not put you in the ground,
At the end of a path,
Where you stray evermore.

Submitted: Sunday, February 21, 2010
Edited: Saturday, December 03, 2011

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