Dammed

I was born into the flow,
The water from my mother’s womb
Rushed forth, followed by the tune
Of all the words I know.

And this river is always pounding
The banks of who I am,
Destroying any dam
Diminishing it’s expanding and expounding

By the time you came along
To a waterline risen
I was completely given
To the current’s song

And you supported me with one word,
But belittled me with the next,
So I read your subtext
And remained unheard

Eleven more years, the waters kept rising,
As we grew into each other,
You were comfortable with the smother,
And I’m skilled at compromising

But the waterline rose all the same
So you adjusted the box you keep me in,
I’m careful where I seep when
I walk around in your name.

Until the day we broke and
All of you entangled
In my flow, suddenly strangled
And forced me unspoken

But we worked our way back again,
I left my words on the stagnant floor
Growing up, heading inshore,
To walk in the land of men

And I’ve barely written since
The tide dried, words don’t persist,
But we still talk like they exist
In the present tense.

Yesterday I called it my work, to hear you say
“If it’s work, you need a new hobby,”
Somehow, it embodied
These years I’ve underplayed

I didn’t wince, or shirk,
I stood erect to face you
To speak my breakthrough
“It’s work; it’s my life’s work.”

All at once, I could see
How simple, how true,
And it doesn’t belong to you
And it doesn’t belong to me

I’m dammed
But it isn’t your fault
I’ve kept sealed my vault
I’ve held this ocean in my hand

Raging in my pen
All my life, I never called it by name
I looked for someone to blame
For the fear I live in

I made you my moon,
Giving you power over the sway
Of in and out, the tidal play
Where my words commune

But these words need the sun
Gold on shimmering waves
Daylight saves
And night should be overrun

But if I succeed,
Whatever success entails,
Or if I fail
The work I achieved

Is my legacy.

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