Copyright © Courtney Josephson

Debt Collector

At what point did I fall into your debt?
Was it when I first drew breath?
Did the interest accrue with every
‘I love you’, with every Small kindness,
Or holiday?

Or was it the passage of time:
A new wrinkle, a creaking joint,
A graying reflection, and a silent house
That made you realize you could end up
All alone?

What value is placed on a life,
And then how do you determine what is owed?
Is it a blind obligation? Is it blood
That trumps all wrongdoings, or
A conscience?

There is love and pity here somewhere buried deep.
Knotted up in memories both good and bad,
All held below the surface with shaking hands.
All submerged until they trickle up one
By one.

What would happen if I couldn’t afford your fee,
If I left you as alone as you left me?
Am I the bigger person for finally stepping away,
Or am I the monster for not choosing
To stay?

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