Raud Kennedy is a writer and dog trainer in Portland, Oregon. To learn about his most recent work, Portland, a collection of short stories, please visit www.raudkennedy.com.
© 2011 Raud Kennedy
Meeting My Past
Some insights are so clear to me today
that I accept them as truths.
But only a few years ago
I would’ve been hesitant
to consider them at all.
If I met my old self on the street
and we talked over a meal,
I’d consider him problematic
and be concerned for his future.
I’d have no desire to be pals
and would walk away after our meal,
relieved to be free of him,
and he’d probably feel the same.
His addictions would make him uneasy.
My sobriety would remind him
of the demons nipping at his heels
that he would soon have to face.
But he’d come up with another reason
to avoid that thought.
He’d say to himself,
that guy is quiet, that guy is dull,
and his impatience to lift his next drink
would write me off.
Making My Own Acquaintance
I used to smoke, crave it, enjoy it.
Now it’s something people do
who are ambivalent about life,
not sure if they want to live or die.
I used to drink a lot.
It was the high and low of my day.
Now it’s what people do who are in pain.
Their pain has taken on a life of its own
and needs to be fed and cared for
like a lost soul they’ve brought home from the bar.
I used to feel sad and needed that sadness
to have something to escape from
because without it I’d be left alone
experiencing an uncomfortable silence
with a stranger.
All work is property of Raud Kennedy.
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