Automaton

Once in awhile
someone just
gives it up

like it was
a bad habit

or cuts it out
like a gangrenous limb.

And I react as trained.

Expression shocked,
body rigid from
outward anger.

While deep inside
where I would
never have
admitted it

My chest expands
to make room for
the girl I always
wanted to be

and my ankles
start itching,
anticipating the day
when I would make
my run for it.

I branded them traitors
just like I was supposed to
talked down to and about them
while deep inside all I wanted
was to be who they had
the strength to become.
~1/16/15
_____

I’ll probably never be able to quit smoking, but damn you if you ask me to sit on another committee. I’m retired.

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