At Arm's Length

You might want to get out a pen and paper and take some notes
Listen up, no texting please, awkward eyes contact is necessary
We’ll start with some basic rules, you'll want to write them down
Rule #1) smiles and lies can fool the system as long as you can keep them
Young children with the minds of adults when the world turns against them
The love that should fill them is replaced with fear 
With no food in the cupboard, their faith wilts like the flower they are told they are
State help drowns them in dust and the elixor with dinner helps to soothe internal wounds
The couch cushions sink as far as the hope in their eyes
When the laughter and fun on every ones faces are only pale pictures of the past.
They crave the excitement, the games to play, and stars above, children learn to live without
Then one beer becomes four, and the chasers become as bitter as the lips it passes
The holes in the wall and the splinters on the floor aren’t the only things broken
Hidden beneath the makeup and clothing, the dark circles run deeper than sleep
Rule #2) remember to stash a blanket outside in case the door is ‘accidentally’ lock for the night
The fridge becomes the desolate waste land of their minds
Alcohol and cigarettes are the staples that hold the shattered together
The letter in the mail with the tell-tale writing
With the fleshy lace spread across the back and face
It’s funny how the foundation you grow up knowing and patching with memories
Can be ripped from beneath the shaking and bruised feet of the innocent
Nail by nail and blood for blood the boxes pile up
The sun sets on the life behind as the U-Haul rumbles up the pass
The drinking never stops, they learn to breath what is drowning them
You’d never notice they were alive if not for the mumbles you hear from their cracked lips
To celebrate a break through, or to  help the dead sleep
The self-medication of consumption lead to the raise in voices
When Christmas comes around, the children hope for more than toys
They check under the tree for money, food, love
Once again the tensions run high, and the spirits of the season are swallowed
When help finally comes, they divert their eyes
They whisper amongst themselves, but smile plastically back at the child
“Good luck” they say, and walk back out, never looking back as the yelling starts 
Rule #3) pretend you’re not alive
When you walk past the infected, don’t look up from the floor
Just go to your room, hide your belongings and the last sliver of hope that’s left
Don’t take the food from the cupboard and don’t make too much noise
Give up on finding a way out, give in to the fact that you’re stuck
Start counting down the day until it can change…. But don’t put too much effort into it
Rule #4) keep your friends close, but not too close
They might find out your secret, about your family
Let no one in, but don’t think you’re the only person being shit on by life
Just refer to Rule #1) when they ask if you’re okay, if you’d like to hang out, if they could come over
Rule #1) they can’t find out if you keep them at arm’s length
Guide that inspired this poem: 


Slim Sprizzle

Wow, that's good. I can relate for sure.

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