They Say Some Behaviors Are Learned




They Say Some Behaviors are Learned


I have learned to be glad

for the things I’ll never understand.

A panicked phone call

at any time of day

can mean one of us

is dead or dying. A

premonition, even in a

dream, should never be

taken lightly. A birth

can mean another funeral,

somewhere, some time,

some date too close to

a previous loss.

Questions are never encouraged,

and as I age, I hear answers

I never asked for. I can’t

speak without unsolicited advice

so I don’t anymore. Quite a

change from talking too much

to myself. I still talk to

spirits. I don’t need them

to answer me back.

My head can’t wrap around

a lot of the standard. What’s

acceptable has been a decade long

journey to travel. What to say

yes (or no) to was an even

longer (and more bumpy) ride.

I find it hard to trust

what’s right in front of me,

especially if it has a mouth

that is moving.

I’ve learned ‘Do what I say,

not what I do’. I’ve learned

‘This will hurt me more

than it hurts you’ too.

No, actions rarely ever line up

with intentions, but I let

this go. They meant well.

I find it difficult to forgive

though I know

the logistics of it. I’ve learned

that sometimes the worst

is impossible to forget. I’ve learned

you can never get over

what’s still happening

to you.

I’ve learned how to hold

my own hand. And that in

the end, I can say I always

tried. And that some mysteries,

anomalies, and tragedies

can never be solved, discovered,

or recovered from.

And this is just fine.


Published by Jennifer Patino

Poet.