She often calls me on the phone,
Sometimes I ignore her for a day or two,
Just to get some space from her fearful clinging.
I have known her for over 15 years,
A pretty woman,
With enough struggle for three lifetimes.
She lives from month to month,
The motel in which she lives made for such as her,
Her whole life contained in one small room,
Tiny kitchen corner,
Bathroom and TV,
Her things in bags along the wall.
Barely holding on,
Many like her eventually thrown out onto the street
When the struggle for rent is lost.
Her need is at times overwhelming,
A vortex leading nowhere,
Only further down into the abyss of dependence.
Her constant companion.
I do what I can,
A little here,
Perhaps a phone call there,
Yet it can wear me down at times.
What should I do?
She often asks,
Wanting me to tell her which way to go.
I smile at her sadly and shake my head
Saying that is something I can’t do.
We all must make our own choices in life,
Besides you will do what you want anyway,
So please don’t ask me to even pretend,
To play act,
At making decisions for you.
Even if I could, I would not,
I don’t have the right to impose.
I care for her but keep a distance
Her pain often too great to bear,
Or perhaps it is my need to fix,
Taking care of others,
In ways not helpful to me or her
Is what I really fear.
I at time lose patience from the cycle,
Not knowing how to break free,
Perhaps I need to learn what lesson she is teaching me first,
A hard lesson for me indeed.
To help others is something we are made for,
It expands the heart,
Broadens the soul,
An act of worship if done in the right spirit.
At others times
It is about control,
That leads nowhere.
People cannot be controlled,
In fact they don’t deserve that,
Each must learn to make choices on their own,
If I can help fine,
If I can’t I need to learn to let go.
There are those who fall through the cracks,
Hopefully she is not one of those,
She deserves better,
But if she does,
What will I do?
So many like her in the world today,
They live in cheap motels,
Perhaps in shelters,
Or simply on the street.
You see some with their carts,
Their lives in chaotic formation for all to see.
Once there it is difficult to climb back up.