Separation Anxiety

Old television shows are so charming:
All the women are stupid, or worse;
The men full of knowing; even fatherly
Their real careers, protecting the hapless women:
Edith, clueless; Lucy, bawling;
Marilyn, childlike.
Bicycle repairing, inventive male stereotypes abound
Sometimes in real life it is exactly the same
But occasionally roles, or even genders, can reverse:
Now and then one sex becomes so dependent
Upon the other, while trying to maintain
At least the appearance of individuality
That should the other one attempt to separate
From the union
The needy one feels it necessary
To demonstrate their sovereignty
By murder; even if their only such act
The results follow them
Everywhere they go
Their reputation ever precedes them
Nobody ever sees
The motivation, the hollowness,
The fear of being abandoned.
Even your worst nightmare of a violent prisoner
Described the idea of being released from jail
Like being a tiny little sailboat
Tossed about helplessly by an uncontrollable sea
When parole boards convene, the mean get meaner
To avoid the one truly terrifying spectre: being free
At least one knows all the rules in captivity's zoo.

by Patti Masterman

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