Formatting note: A quote indicates a change in speaker. The characters are a man who has just been arrested and one has come to visit him; with their pasts intricately tied together, they discuss their mistakes among other things. I hope this info makes the conversation easier to follow, as this is nothing but dialogue.
We’re just the same, you and I
I’ve realized our situations are the same
I was hurt by someone I loved dearly
So I had to strike out and I was preoccupied
By the time I looked up I’d sacrificed you
And done much more damage than intended
You’re exactly as blind as I was
You were hurt by the one you loved
So you were desperate to damage him back
And you thought of no person or thing but that
By the time you took your blinders off
Your brother was dead
Your nephew will know a mother but no father
His uncle knew a father but no mother- the same, no?
One because of your misdeeds and one because of mine
You may resent me as suits you,
I’d be astounded if you didn’t
But whether you like it or not young man
You are like me even if you are unlike your father
I don’t know what to say to that
I was raised in the shadow of evil
And never knew what love was
Meanwhile your crush said no
And you really think we’re the same?
And if you get a big head about yourself
Get off your high horse and look around
One of us is sleeping inside a prison cell
And one of us is outside of it, free to go
You may think you have a high ground
But you and I are not so different men.
Now shall we discuss the infamous criminals that were our fathers?
I’m afraid I won’t be much good at that,
You see I didn’t have one as a kid
Not until I was a grown man and he a dead one
Did I learn anything about him
He never claimed me, but his mother
Made sure I was always a fish out of water.
You want to claim disadvantages?
Try being disfigured, disabled all your life
I was hidden in cave for more years
Than you were stashed in boarding schools.
Face it. We’ve lived bad lives, done bad things
And came to regret the sins of our fathers,
The mistakes of our past. Face it- we are one.
One man, in two parts, huh?
A quarter of a century apart
But really not separated by anything
If you’re trying to claim me for some
Then you’re going to have to actually
Help me this time.
If I had any idea
What the reality was
I never would have done
What I did to you.
The mother who pushed me out of her womb
And kicked me out of her life without a thought
The father who stashed me away all my life
And never bothered to give me anything:
You all used me as a pawn
In your twisted game.
Your mother and I are sorry for that now.
What do you know about my mother?
Would you let me tell
You about her now?
Start with her name.
If we’re going to start playing happy family,
Someone might as well let me know
Who my mother is really.
What’s her first name?
Stubborn and proud.
She has two daughters-
And four grandchildren.
You do have a family,
Or at least you could
If you wanted to try.
I have half-sisters
They have children.
Tell me- does Anna
Care for all of them
The way she didn’t
Care for me?
Listen, I was wrong when I assumed
That you mean nothing to her
She’s been driving herself wild
Trying to track you down
And somehow protect you
She’s thought of you everyday,
Her family with her husband…
Yes, she loves them madly
More than anything in the world
Like I love my family.
People change as their lives do,
You’ve got to understand that.
Well you’ll have to excuse me
If it’s a lot to process
My father is dead
My brother’s widow is pregnant
I have half-sisters with kids-
It’s an awfully major adjustment
In the family department,
Wouldn’t you say so?
You have time for all that,
More time than I do.
What, now you‘ re also
Hovering at death’s door?
I mean, you sure aren’t family
But up until a few hours ago
I believed we had a solid friendship.
Not dying any more than you are,
Just aging much faster
And out of time to be young.
Aren’t we all, though?
Thank you for reading. I wanted to experiment with prose poetry, and when I started to, I wound up with this. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. I’ve been writing a lot of short stories recently, so feel free to see what I’ve come up with it:
My most vivid childhood memory is a red blouse with buttons all down the back and on the sleeves. I remember my little…
The voice on the other end came from a dream but this was no dream. A second phone call in the middle of the night and…
Laugh Out Loud
I saw him for the first time when I was sitting under the elm tree by the river. I had been crying over yet another…