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Breakdown

by Richard Vince

It was only the beginning, but people acted as if
This was it: you had made it. They tricked you into
Thinking the same, into not thinking at all
Because everything else would just happen.

After all that, what can I say? All I can do is
See you looking more miserable every year
And feel my usual combination of
Desire to help and total inability to do so.

Of course, I don’t know what’s really happening
Behind those inevitably sad eyes.
I barely know you, and yet here comes the poetry:
My pathetically ambitious desire to help
Given form by words with added line breaks
Rather than anything useful.

But this, surely, is the limit of what I can
Actually do for you. If your friends and
Your family can do nothing to raise you
Back up to where you should be,
What can you expect of a mere acquaintance?

And there it is. It’s all about me really.

And yet, maybe we are more similar than
We seem. The happiest I have ever seen you
Was when you briefly had cause to step back
To those distant days of promise, and share
The beauty you discovered in those halcyon days
With those who know what has replaced it.
I have more happiness in my present, but still
Reserve most fondness for my past.

Perhaps that is why you occupy my mind
Far more than you should. It seems like
I should know how to repair someone like us,
Only no one gave me the manual.

08/14/2014

Posted on 09/30/2014
Copyright © 2022 Richard Vince

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