Katherine Coolage

This Problem Of Mine - Poem by Katherine Coolage

Why do you think I don't come downstairs?

There's really only one explanation:
it's because you're down there.
I can't let you see these tears
fall again.
So I ask you now,
what should I do?

How should I solve a problem when it's not present?
Or should I make my own problems, just to fill in that oppressive gap,
so that I can actually acknowledge that here, finally, there is a problem.
Something that can be fixed.
Something tangible.
Not just words.
Something precedented.

I'm good enough at that.
Last year, it was the snacks.
Snacks enough to fill a room.
Snacks enough to feed an army.
Snacks enough that I finally gained enough weight that someone noticed?

This year it's the opposite.
Not eating.
Not really.
And somehow, I think this is what I want.
It's more conspicuous.

Your little darling, your perfect golden girl,
Can have problems too.

But I also don't want it.
Don't you have enough already to worry about?
You make your own problems.
And I pride myself on being the silent observer, free of blame.
Pride myself because I'm too much a coward to help.

Because If I looked hard enough,
I know I could find just the right strings to untangle,
And could untie these knots among you.

But I'm too afraid to open my eyes.
After all, once I really understood what was right I'd need to join in.
So instead I keep silent.
Not my problem.
I won't make it my problem.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 14, 2012

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