Now I Am Nothing

Hanging Heart 2
By RD Armstrong

The old man speaks of
His days walking the wire
A wire dancer he calls it
But now he is old and washed up
He can only teach children how to tempt fate

“Now I am nothing” he says

I too know this resignation
Once I held a hammer
I built things
Repaired things
Brought joy to other people’s lives
I was “unskilled” labor – blue collar
Working poor
But now I am just poor
I am defined by my birthdate
I am a medical statistic
Once I railed against
The medical business
But that was when I still thought
I could walk away
When I thought I didn’t need them
Now I know I do need them
Need their pills and their needles
Their hospitals and doctors

So today while I was in Riteaid
Getting some things I had a
Strange moment of clarity
It was in the liquor aisle…
All those bottles of Vodka
The means for my escape
Laid out before me
And it meant nothing
Nothing at all

A wind of great sadness blew through my soul
I wished it would pick me up and carry me far away from here
That’s when I realized – when I knew it couldn’t
Because

Now I am nothing

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