Last of 2019

I did not mean, to lend some hand…

In better wishes, you can come to understand.

‘That I never meant to walk him there;

In that I had my own pain   -my own payment;

he had not a thing to endure, and yet he begged for it-

-sought it, better-

‘as if it were some ‘cure…’

Bear me no more judgment as you come to hear, for –

I have pondered, even if he had felt any such resilience,

-as I had past to comparison, gone to bear.

He had argued in saying “I’ve had plenty my last glance,

-at a life to live, that might be worth nothing.’

And I did not think that such acknowledgement

-would warrant absolute verification…

I am so sorry, my dear… so regretful, in my truth,

For, yes, I may have led him there -obscurely,

But surely, my love,

I never saw him to it.


‘Last of 2019’ is named for the simple fact that it is the last piece I wrote for the year. This is one of those spur-of-the-moment poems, where the words sort of fell out and the story picked itself up from it later on. When I wrote it I wasn’t too sure of where it was going, I knew that I was conveying feelings of accusations and blame from an external perspective so we could see some refute to it, especially in the ending of ‘I never saw him to it.’ But there was no definitive idea or goal when I was putting it together.

In reading it later, I began to a conversation unfolding, one regarding addiction and some absolute downfall of character. Specifically I believe it’s a defensive sentiment from one person to another about how their relationship with someone else brought about something terrible related to a drug usage. In this poem we have our character who has had some guy fall in love with them -here we can think of our speaker telling the story- and they are now being confronted by someone who cares for the guy and fully blames our narrator for having gotten him all mixed up into using drugs which in turn harmed them. Our narrator offers in defense that they admit they have their own problems they struggle with: ‘I had my own pain, my own payment.’ They even describe the manner in which he gave into the usage compared to the way they did, where they were reserved to get into it but this guy seemed almost eager: ‘if he had felt such resilience… as I had past gone to bear.’ And they defend that they exposed him to it, but they never really made him to it: ‘I may have led him there… but never saw him to it.’ This becomes testament to the way our relationships alter our lives, the people we know influence the decisions we make everyday. It’s relating to how inescapable those habits can be when tied to relationships, and much people tend to shift blame to others in order to cope with the frustrations that come with these sorts of issues.

When I worked as a security guard at a halfway house it become common to recognize that if the resident recovered and were subsequently released, if they went back to their same relations they had had before, then they were almost guaranteed to fall back into their old ways once more. It’s a difficult thing to consider, really, that if you want to change your life and your behavior, that you must in part act to change your circumstances by choosing the people you surround yourself with. It’s a hard consideration to make, for anyone, especially for those who have connected with a specific person or persons for a long period of time. Even more so for those who don’t have anywhere else to go or any other means of escaping it. How does one really change that? How do you cut people out of your life, especially if it means saving/preserving your own, and at what point do you do it? What if that person needs you for something and can’t let you go? Does love (of others and self alike) always call for sacrifice, or is part of it knowing how to let go?


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