Thursday, February 17, 2011

I Don't Like You, but I Love You

I don't like you, but I love you
Seems I'm always, thinking of you
Oh, oh, oh, you treat me badly
love you madly
you really got a hold on me
(Lyrics and music by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles)

In the dream
Meredith was babbling
Not making any sense
And baby
It was cold outside
The snow was falling hard
And the wind was kicking
And the apartment was cold
And the heat wasn’t on
It was clear
that stacks of bills
had not been paid
There were no lights
Only candles flickered in the drafts
The house was practically empty
Where had all the furniture gone?
Sold for drug money no doubt
What else?

My car was being vandalized
By neighborhood junkies
I should have known better
Than to have parked it where I did
Especially with such cheeseball locks

I had come to rescue my daughter
A fool’s errand I could see
Meredith had no intention
Of letting her go
No matter how far gone
The situation might be

And Amy was also there
A tiny figure in the shadows
Dressed in her candy cane nightgown
Dragging her favorirte teddy bear by the arm
Having been awakened
By our loud voices
And by all of our shouting

What’s wrong daddy?
Is mommy okay?
Yeah, baby girl
Mommy’s okay
Everything’s okay
Just you go back to sleep now
And everything will be alright
In the morning
Just you wait
And see

Okay daddy
Okay mommy
I love you both
Love you too munchkin
Love you too

I tried to reason with her
To plead with her
To beg her
To let me take Amy to my home
Where she would be warm
And safe

“She is home”
She said
“She is safe”
She said
“Amy stays here with me”.

I tried to reason with her
All to no avail
Whatever drug she was on
Was doing all the talking
For the both of us

Outside the cold wind hissed
And howled
And updrafts of freezing air
Seeped between the floor boards
And through every crack in the walls

The snow was piling up
I felt trapped
I could hardly breathe
“Would you like a cup of tea?”
Said she ever so pleasantly
“It won’t take but a sec.”

I watched her
As she went about her business
As she placed the empty tea kettle
On the flameless range

And I thought to myself
Even though I knew I was asleep
And having a nightmare
How very odd all of this was
How very odd
And how so very strange

Philadelphia, Pa. 2011

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