You say you are unburdened today
Choosing to play an alternative roulette instead
You choose to live, free from the rage, for now
As the Ugly slowly overtakes your breath
What do I say? How do I fight that resignation?
I know your pain is an untested wasteland
Of hungry crying babies with colicky screams
Of a mind consumed with mostly dangerous themes
There is no desperate existence quite like
The one imposed upon you, upon me, upon us
And yet here you are, your skin dry and flaky
Unburdened with the flooded dam of an unjust sentence
But the burden does still remain with me
In fact, I think I’m carrying yours too
I thought I felt my load become bigger, heavier
My back sank down further, my grief growing dark blue
Do I have to accept that your days are really numbered out loud?
That you will just fade away like everyone else I ever loved?
Your body erased from the dismal bonds of this earth?
Future days full of loneliness and sorrow and this melancholy life curse?
These moments ahead of us I fear and I dread
I’m alive because I know my heart is still beating, bleeding
It’s pounding in the now-disciplined daily labors
Of carrying both burdens, one mine, one yours
I know you’re too tired to walk onward with that pack
Like two buddies still wandering in the aftermath of a lost war
Just trying to get back home to rest in one piece
I’m stronger because of you anyway. I’ll take both burdens far.
Believe me, when I put them down at some point, some place
It’s because there will be no need to carry them anymore
I don’t know when or where or how far alone the road it will be
But I’m tough enough to endure this because I know that you loved me
Dori Ann Dupre was born and raised in New Jersey. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in History and is a veteran of the United States Army. She is the author of two Southern fiction novels: the international award winning debut, Scout’s Honor, and the upcoming Good Buddy. She also writes short stories, poetry, and freelance projects. Dori resides in North Carolina with her family. Please visit her website for more information, writings, and news.