You Wish Your Children Never Were, A Poem by Chris Russell

I realize the child I used to be is still a part of me,

and that each time I wish it away

I’m wishing to not be around.

It’s just I haven’t learned to love myself unconditionally yet

and I’m still neglecting myself

or worse.

That’s why when I heard you tell your girlfriend

you wish your children never were,

I couldn’t help but want to hold myself in my arms

before I ended up trapped on a web page

or a headline in somebody else’s subconscious.

It was a long time ago

that I was like that kid you’re talking about,

and now I’m an adult child of parental abuse and addiction.

A volcano, I’m always exploding when I least expect it,

and it’s only then that I see how much self-loathing

is still there burning me and turning memory to ash.

Because believe me when I tell you that

when I don’t deal with my own, I drop it into others

like you drop quarters into a gumball machine,

and whatever starts with me doesn’t stay there where

it belongs.

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