After all these years

after all these years,
she is still that little shy girl
I knew when we were children.
I remember when she was ten
she would keep me awake at night
scared of the dark and being alone
then suddenly she was sixteen,
discovering the meaning of words
how intonation can scald
or send a heart soaring
falling in love and leaving me
to pick up the broken pieces

she always seems so cautious
but she isn’t that sweet girl
she makes out, because I know
about all those sexy thoughts
those idly wandering fingers
then pretending it is me
that makes her do it, like the time
we went skinny dipping in the lake
but that was all her idea and I
didn’t want it to be that way
not using protection and having
to deal with all those tears

I should give her credit though
because she is the creative one
the one with all the ideas
making me write her words
so that I feel such a fraud
sometimes I hate her so much
but then she comes to me
crying, and I don’t have the heart
to hurt her anymore, except she
is the one that breaks my heart
by always getting involved
so I have to be the strong one

sometimes I can’t believe
she is still part of my life,
but there she is, staring
back at me from the mirror,
reminding me that I’m not
the pretty one, pointing out
every fault, but even though
she knows all my secrets,
and we fight all of the time
until I place a pillow over my head
to quieten her persistent voice,
I am nothing without her

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