I chose you and I lost my ability to see.
I couldn’t see your failings, though I was aware of them before.
It’s not that I was blind, but that I didn’t want to see.
Deep down inside, I think accepting your flaws was a reflection on me.
Because you were MY choice.
I chose you and now you’re proud.
I supported you when you did wrong and let you pull wool over my eyes.
And it’s starting to get to me.
Because your failings are so visible now that I can’t deny them.
And I can’t deny the role I’ve played in helping you pretend you’re perfect.
That your flaws don’t matter.
It’s my failing and I’m suffering for it, because they do.
I chose you.
Not because you were the best, but because you were the best available.
Not necessarily because I had something to gain by making that choice, though it’s possible,
But more because I felt I had no alternatives.
Or because I was afraid of the repurcussions of choosing someone else.
You were my compromise then, and you’re starting to be my shame.
I chose you and I’d choose you again.
For the same reasons. But I think you need to learn humility.
You forget that you stand where you are because of me.
You forget that I matter.
You forget that they matter, not just me.
They the silent ones, who have no way to speak.
You turn away from their faces and their silent tears.
They bear the brunt because they’re vulnerable.
I’ve been letting you fool them with false promises and they believed.
Because they were ignorant and desperately looking for hope.
But they’re getting wise and I’m wondering what they’ll do when they run out of options.
It worries me – this failure of yours, which is also mine.
I chose you still, but I want to change.
I want to change and I want you to change.
It’s a new way for me, because till now I’ve gone with what’s convenient.
The truth is that you supported me when I wanted to do wrong.
So I kept you happy by supporting you.
I want to change, but I’m fighting with the side of myself that’s gone comfortable with wrong.
I chose you still, knowing you’re flawed.
Knowing I’m the same.
I’m willing to accept it now.
To accept where I did wrong, because I need to do that before I can make a change for the better.
And I’m starting to expect you to do the same.
I stand by my choice for now but it’s not because I believe you can change.
You’ve yet to prove to me that you can.
It’s a case of ‘better the devil you know than the devil you don’t’.
But there’s a time limit and your time is slowly running out.
I’m wondering whether you have what it takes to change.
And whether I should continue to believe in you.
I might still chose you again if you fail me, because I feel stuck.
Because I feel there’s no alternative.
Or I might not chose at all, preferring to be alone.
This poem started with my feelings on dealing with transfer of membership (relating to shares in housing societies) to some relatives, after the death of family members.
On dealing with the corruption in housing societies, when they sensed that grief and loss had created vulnerability and thought it was time to exercise their power – to bully and to harass. The power which they have, because the rules governing the functioning of housing societies, and the way they are regulated allow individual members who have an agenda to do this.
The feelings were still very raw, years later, after things had been sorted out and I finally let them go when I wrote the following poem.
I’ve tried to approach the matter of choice in a general way. Focusing on how human and fallible we are, though we sometime like to think otherwise.
It’s about the way we sometimes make choices and dig ditches for ourselves. And then struggle, until we realise that the power to change lies within us.