Jack, I’m so glad you responded to this. Thank you. I wondered what readers saw when they read this. Silence made me unsure. Responses help me see what works in my writing and what doesn’t work. I am always very open to that.
I’ll have to try to read this poem as if I don’t know what it’s about, because your response surprised me. Perhaps this person’s view sounds like they were in a love relationship gone terribly wrong? Like they’d come to the point where they couldn’t help anymore and needed to start practicing self-care? If so, I’ve written a piece that can be taken more than one way.
I had a small part in a recent conversation that was shut down because a person lived in a societal space that was too comfortable to venture away from. That’s how I came to write this poem about an inadvertently cruel person beginning to understand how that happened, but deciding to stay in that lane simply because they could.
Through what I perceived to be that person’s point of view (why I used quotation marks), I wanted to show how stark, hopeless, and painful it feels to be on the receiving end of such a shutdown. I hoped to show how the cumulative societal effects of so much shutdown explains ‘sudden’ bursts of pain and anger that only seem to come out of nowhere.
Thank you for reading my work, Jack. I can’t express how grateful I am when anyone does.