You can recognize them once you know how to look.

Their shoulders dragging intangible weight.

They are pale and doughy

Living off of pre-made meals and energy shots.

They have dark lines under their eyes

And smiles underlaid with sadness.

They mulishly take blows

Sharp words that cut too true

Abuse that only family can give.

They can whip their way through hideously complex paperwork

Without blinking.

They can make decisions

Hard decisions

Pop a Rolaid and move forward.


They are bound, bound


Emotionally bound

Bound by duty

Bound for destruction

Sick with dread

Awaiting the day of freedom

Which carries with it

Their greatest grief.



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