The Artist

Alone, for all intents and purposes,
I labor for hours on end.
Coffee, cigarettes, and Doritos chips,
Where will I ultimately find

Myself? Who cares? It’s my children I care
About. My kids. My creations.
My raison d’etre, living, breathing,
Speaking their magical incantations.

No one understands how important this
Is to me. Nobody can see
Down deep into the depths from where it all
Comes, down deep in the sea of me.

“Me, me, me!”  The artist’s cheer.  How
Did I become so selfish and
Self-indulgent?  I didn’t used to be
Like this.  I once had a firm hand

And a mind like a CEO, hungry,
With the bottom line in my sights.
I know, I know, I made promises to
Stand tall and take up arms to fight

For the life you so much wanted.  Now I’m
Diddling with canvasses and hues.
Not quite enough oranges, and too many
Violets, greens, and shades of blue.

Meanwhile, you work like a dog to keep us
Acceptable to the neighbors.
You are growing old quickly, but you can’t
See the wages of your labor.

If I had my way, I would live on an
Island, far, far away.  Not meant
To say I’m not grateful, but by the way,
Did you make my last car payment?

The finance company called yesterday
And they said we were thirty days
Late.  If you don’t want me to have a car
Then, please, be honest and just say