The Real You

And when I left,
I could feel the tension 
in the air.
The worry in your voice,
as you told me
that whatever I need to say,
you can handle it.
“I’m a tough cookie”
you said.

The problem is,
I know that you can’t,
not right now.
Maybe not ever.

And despite all of the ways
your behaviour
confuses and frustrates me.
Little white lies,
indiscretions, unfathomable to me.
Sometimes I don’t recognise you
anymore.

Despite all of this,
I believe you did the best
you knew how.
And perhaps
I criticise you the most,
because I expect the most 
from you.
Because you have never faltered.
You have always been there,
when I was most alone.

Perhaps you have changed.
Surely we all have.
Perhaps you haven’t.
Perhaps, I am only just 
beginning to see
sides of you that 
I’ve never noticed before.
Never noticed
when looking through
the rose tinted eyes of love.
The naïveté of a daughter.

Perhaps my theories are correct
.
Perhaps there is an unfamiliar demon
creeping in to take hold of you.
Old age reaches all of us.
And who’s to say
that I won’t face a similar fate.

What if you are losing
parts of your mind.
They do say it can creep
into your mid fifties
sometimes.

Could I ever forgive myself then,
for criticising you now,
for misplacing my trust.
And you have been through
more heartache than some.
I was always telling you

”Try to relax”
“Stop being so highly strung”
I was trying to protect you.

Maybe, you have devoted yourself
so tirelessly to others,
to the detriment 
of your own wellbeing.
I admire you
for your optimism,
for your never fading love.
Despite how
I know I push you away,
sometimes.

Yes, you got things wrong,
but doesn’t everyone?

And I hope 
when I tell you,
there is no torrent of abuse
heading your way,
you are comforted 
by knowing
I do not resent you.
Nor have I ever.
Nor will I ever.

I will not follow 
in the footsteps of my siblings.
I will not blame you
for every part of me that hurts.

Circumstances have made me
this person that I am.
Whoever that may be,
I wouldn’t change it.
Not for any charmed life
we might have had.

And if I lose you,
mind and body.
(And I fear that I may)
I will hold in my heart,
The memory of who you were.
I will keep that close to mind.
I will try my best to be patient,
with you.
And if others abandon you,
I will never leave.

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