American Oatmeal Parable

Forced to eat oatmeal each day
by my addled blood.  
Gotten so used to it
that a day without it feels like treason.

Once upon a time I liked it well enough. Still
sounds good right up to the first bite —  
a blues bowl of blueberries and cinnamon,
tan pulp gone purple with berry dye. Then

it becomes all bent notes until “good-for-me,
good-for-me, good-for-me” stops echoing inside
as I put empty spoon and bowl into the sink
with that sense of weary duty to a life I truly don’t love,

followed by seeking out morning news. Upon seeing it 
my addled blood so often becomes curdled blood;
all that weary duty feels heavier, and heavier, 
a weight in my stomach as dense as the cursed daily bowl —

but every day I force it down. I do what must be done,
take in boredom and pain and anger because
as much as it hurts, I must stay alive a bit longer;
because “good-to-me” means more than just feeling good;

it’s about doing what must be done 
to save my blood, my country, my life.
Whatever I choke down I choke down to do just that.
Gotten so used to it that a day without it

feels like treason.

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About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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