Permanent Marker

I feel like it’s too much to ask
to do all the right things
like floss and wear sunscreen and recycle
and pay bills on time
and not eat too many croissants
and not drive when you could walk
and show up on time

The long list of requirements
weighs on me
like the 10 commandments etched in stone
times 1,000 and strapped
onto my back
as if I am Moses’ sherpa

Yes, I know
I could put down
the freaking tablets
and give my aching shoulders
a rest
but I also know there would be
Consequences
because that’s how it works

Not to mention the rules
that aren’t even covered
in the 1,000 commandments
like don’t show up to a party empty-handed
and always send a card
and put something in the plate when it’s passed to you

Then there are the Big Rules
(not necessarily covered in the 1,000 commandments)
like raise your children to be good humans
and eat local and organic
and save money instead of spending it on stuff you want

Wait

Maybe I’m mixing them up
the order of importance
the gravity
confusing mandatory with
strongly encouraged
or optional

what if I knock all the rules
off the wall
and start over
now they are scattered across the floor
different fonts and colors and sizes
some in ALL CAPS
or bold
or italics
(no consistency whatsoever)
some I don’t even know who wrote them
or where they came from
but they are written
in permanent marker
nonetheless

© Betsy Rosenblatt Rosso
February 2020




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