SOLITAIRE

“You know, you should win that every time.”
The images move when I touch them,
hunched over my phone
To escape.

I know what he says isn’t true.
The cards can be stacked against me.
And no matter what
I lose.

That’s okay. I don’t need to win.
Winning isn’t why I’m here.
I play to escape,
To numb.

To leave behind the judgments
And demands and criticisms
To mindlessly play
And yet …

In the back of my head, his words echo,
Activating my comfortable self-doubt.
Perhaps I should win.
Every time.

My shoulders tense as ego and id
Brandish their well-honed swords.
A familiar battle that, of course,
I lose.

Being wrong is intimate, familiar,
Like a worn blanket, smelly and stained
That I should leave behind.
And still,

I play.

 

Waiting …

waiting…

waiting…

waiting…

to be old enough to go to school
tall enough to ride the roller coaster
pretty enough to have a date

waiting…

waiting …

waiting…

to be mature enough to play adult
save enough to buy a house
stable enough to have a child

waiting …

waiting …

waiting …

for the child to grow
for college acceptances and mortgages payments
and weddings and reunions and funerals

waiting …

waiting …

waiting …

for awards and acceptances
acclaim and jealousy
for the career-ending gold watch

waiting …

waiting …

waiting …

for my hair to thin
my bones to grow brittle
my body to betray me, but still

waiting …

waiting …

waiting …

to have my voice heard
to be seen as I am
to be accepted as worth the trouble

waiting …

for permission to be –

waiting …

for permission to love –

waiting …

for permission to accept –

myself.