STRUGGLING AGAINST MY SWADDLING BANDS

My infant sorrow persists in these, my senior years

And I am not a fiend hid in a cloud

Though persistent, insistent, sinister powers that be

Tell me to be, that I am that fiend

And only my acceptance will disburse the cloud

But I am not helpless, naked; no longer piping loud

Though when I was, I was unable to sulk upon my mother’s breast

I didn’t know how to struggle against my swaddling bands

Nor that I had to, as I have to now, still, yet, in these my senior years

The tragedy written for me to play was not play

For me but was for the supporting cast

And their comedy found me the butt of every asinine joke

No.  Mirth was not mine, is not mine still

My bands swaddle not, did not swaddle, do but stifle, did stifle

Yet the author, the omnipotent author, with every reason to know better, composes

A hackneyed part so derivative that scholars reprise the same,

The tired character in their discipline and the same scholars now think

The schizophrenogenic mother a fiction but I rethink the same

The fictive character of that postulate, that a mother would

Manifest upon this helpless, naked infant—

This child of bipolar, or schizoaffective disorder

Writ deep in Virginia Satir’s suppressed family secret

Satiric family, satire of a family, familiar statistics

A production in a late-night rehearsal

Of a malevolent plot the leading lady’s desperate

Protagonist on strike; the stage lights dim

Darkness disburses out in the theater’s illuminated exit rows

The show is over, makeup sanitized off the face of reason

Outside, in the light of day, naked realization

Identifying a self-defining moment of truth, defying, momentous truth:

I am not that I am,

Not that I am I was made to be

That problem child I am not

I will be what I will to be

What I am, I am me

I am my identity, my me

What I am is what I am

I say loud:

I am I

I say loud:

I am me

My me

Identity

I am

I

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