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Worn Out 2010

Janet Kuypers
(poetry converted to prose)

    I recently heard the theory that the dead follow you — they stay with you for the rest of your life. they pull at you and tug at you and wear you out until you die.
    And are you doing this to me? Are you pulling the color out of my hair, because I only noticed grey hairs on my head after your death. And come to think of it, my back started hurting after you were dead for a while ans is it that because I’ve been carrying you around? Are you clinging to me after you left?
    Please, I don’t want to feel guilty for leaving you. Please don’t haunt me like this... Maybe I should have been there to see them lower your casket into the ground. Maybe I should have seen you in your suit and tie in your coffin - maybe then you wouldn’t tug at me and wear me down and make me feel old.
    Because I recently heard the theory that the dead follow you and wear you out until you die. But I’m beginning to think that the reason people get old is because they’ve gone through too much. And if the likes of you leave the likes of me, you’ll make me wonder if I’ll have too much baggage to carry.




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Chicago poet Janet Kuypers
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