One of these days I hope you realize
the life I lead is one I lead for you.
Left to my own devices,
I would drink until I needed sleep
and then sleep until I needed to drink.
Thoughts of you keep me awake
and sober and soberly awake.
I am me, no apologies needed.
I could easily be that homeless man
you give money and blankets to
on the corner by the interstate sign.
But for you, I am up early,
working until I can no longer stand
the very thought of working,
paying bills on time,
washing dishes and clothes
with utter abandonment,
my mind always hundreds of miles away
on my beloved southern state,
on my grandchildren and my daughter.
For you, I am kind and gentle
when kindness and gentleness
is never what I want to be.
I am tired and older than my age.
I am sore and in pain.
I am depressed and crying
but these are things that I am when I am alone.
For you, I am young and energetic
and in love and caring and sweet,
bringing hot coffee to our bed
to make my tongue warm and steamy
for your body’s wants and needs.
And I become me for you and only you.
Alone I am miserable and mean
and I sometimes scream at the walls
for no reason other than they are walls,
keeping me in, imprisoning me.
When all I long for is to be free.