O is for Optional #AtoZChallenge

OptionalO
A poem by Jessica Ryan

Relationships are optional.
You cannot mandate my marriage
to cure your lonliness, and I
do not need your love
to make my life complete.

I’ve kissed more boys
than I can count
and have loved less.
My feelings intensify and
fade like the seasons.
Do not mention marriage in the summer
and never children in the snow.
Laugh at my jokes and I’ll
pretend your confessions of
undying infatuation don’t amuse me.

I do not require the world,
only a small park bench outside where
the wood can rot; the paint can chip.
Sit next to me and hold my hand.
Ask of nothing; demand even less.
If mandates spew from your lips,
eliminating my free will, I’ll add you
to my list of boys I’ve kissed
and never loved.

—Nortina


I thought about adding some narration to this post so that it’s not just a poem, but I’ll save that for tomorrow. I think Jessica’s starting to complain a little too much, and as a writer and reader, I know how annoying that can get when the protagonist is always playing the victim. Tomorrow, we’ll look at another flashback with a twist, and next week we’ll pick up where we left off with M. Just a little warning, things are gonna get a little crazy next week. Hope you’ll stick around! 😉

By the way, if this poem sounds familiar to you, it’s actually a revision of one of my poems I wrote for my No Holds Barred Poetry Writing Challenge.

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