Sugar Worries This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

September 23, 2011
Sugar Worries
Catherine Eldredge

It never reached me before.
That reassuring smile,
The countless hugs,
Words that seemed helpful but weren’t…

I kept wondering if they meant something,
All you were doing for me.
Maybe I wasn’t quite getting the message.
Were you trying to save me?
Were your thoughts getting caught by my ruthless tongue before they could make sense?

The sincerity of it all was sickening,
I could feel every drip of sweetness and worry
Rolling down my neck,
Off your lips,
Touching my cheek,
Breathing in my ear.

I wanted to stop it.

My voice was gone,
All movement lost meaning,
And nothing seemed right.
The songs you were singing became harsh and strained
And my body was forced along like a marionette,
Following, you, master.

It was too much and too little.
My life was a pointless repetition,
Always repeating.

Then down came the blade across that half-lived life,
Severing all ties,
Cutting me in pieces,
And leaving me to die.

But it felt good.

Why deny it?
I know that it’s true.
I loved that vicious stab at every scab I created myself.
I know I smiled at every hint of pain shoved deep into my body.

And you smiled right back.

You gave me that reassuring look,
Wrapped me in countless hugs,
Even spoke to me with that sugar worry.

I kept thinking how stupid you were.
Scoffed even when you told me it wasn’t right.

Now I know.

You meant it didn’t you?
You meant every smile,
Every hug,
Every word.
You tried so hard to make me see that I meant something.

It took so long.
Too long, even,
To take my hand off my ears and listen.

Now I’m listening,
And smiling,
And laughing,
And singing
Because you gave me that chance to survive.

It has finally reached me.
And here I am,
And happy.

Because now I know it wasn’t right.
Now I know I mean something.
Now I know that I belong here,
Feeling reassured,
With your arms around me
While you whisper that candy song.

And, now that I know,
I’ll gladly drink those words
Until someone else comes along, with their hands over their ears.
And I’ll hand them a glass
And offer them
My sugar worries.

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