I told you once you had to choose your battles. You smiled and you told me you'd be fine, The invulnerability of youth hanging on your shoulders And your yellow scarf around your neck And your hair just so, And went.
Much later you had forgotten I ever mentioned those words, You flung yourself into countless skirmishes with me instead; In my defense I tried hard to get back at you But my arrows meant nothing, shattered on your worn and dirtied armour like sugar cubes Or nothing. Nothing is what they meant to you, And when I held you off neither of us could triumph, I told myself, But the weariness I felt facing you could mean only one thing. I wished once you would let me choose my battles.
Later still was better, less hateful, but I could see the buildup in your eyes and limbs and face And I worried constantly And I waited for you to lose composure and get into it And I wanted to say something to stop the stress building up that day And I was glad when you stopped on the precipice before the breaking point But I watched you without surprise when all the energy in your body rose up and burned you both, And when he jumped back I knew he would pin you and poke you and make you pay And again you made me join the fight, because nothing ever changes. I felt once like a typecast sidekick.
I found you alone and you weren't crying anymore but the dry anger had a hold on you and I almost cried for you but I knew you would only hate me for it So I pretended that I was OK and you would be OK but you were still angry and I knew from experience there was nothing I could do: You stopped caring whether you were right some time ago. I cried once for that a long time afterwards, when I knew you couldn't hear me.
I told you again that you should choose your battles. You looked at me and told me that you were fine. I heard the death of the future tense and tried to figure out who broke you. You looked away and in that moment you made me your shield.