Make Me

The following is a poem I wrote in late December 2019 as I contemplated decades of  bondage to addiction; powerless, struggling but never changing; telling myself the same false reality day after day.

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At times I’m
Just a step away—
One bad choice, ya know?
Leave or stay?
It’s a long journey back
To what’s true. 

Every year
I see what you took,
But the hook is
I played a part too. 

My song, unsung,
Choked me,
Held me back;
Kept me there
Instead of here,
Year after year. 

But your power
Is an illusion—
A trick to make me stay;
Pushing, pulling, shoving me
Into
A box.

Wherever I look, I
See black;
You attack hope and
I answer with affirmations
That fall to the floor.

No more,
Please!
Tired of my own voice,
Exhausted by endless choice,
After choice,
After choice,
Everything staying the same.

© 2019 Steven Barto

doldrums

Some days, absent the need for
complete inactivity –
as when frenetic events
force a dead calm –
it seems as though I
choose to lull,
bobbing ever so slightly
on the water,
barely breaking the
cohesion of the
surface tension;

I allow the sun to
cook my fair skin and
bleach my already
blond locks,
and I hear the
slow formation of a
spectacular thunderstorm;

Although sometimes deadly,
such a storm will,
without fail,
relieve, for a while,
the heavy, humid heat
that is my life
alone

drifting…

©2017 Steven Barto