i don't think the way i feel should be dictated
by what you say you feel, by the words and
song coming from the expression on your face
and whether or not you are skipping or walking or lying down.
i don't think what I do should be dictated
by what he did, even though i admire him, or by what
she did, even though she's obviously brilliant.
i don't think the way i write should be dictated
by what you write, the long words and complicated
thoughts exposed on your smooth skin, tenderness
always open for poking and scratches by the branches
that hit you as we walk down the sidewalk together.
i don't think my dreams should be dictated
by what everybody else says a dream ought to be,
the growing up of a child to adulthood and the
responsibilities the depending the independence
the manhood of the money you carry in your wallet.
i don't think the way i deal with my problems should be dictated
by the way you deal with them, because i am not
you, and those things do not come easily
for me, and silence means something different to me
than it does to you, and so does touching.
copyright Miss Erin McIntosh, 2009
please do not reprint without permission
Poetry Friday roundup at A Year of Reading