Poem

The Devil in the Details

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Tell me why it feels like I’m sinning
Even though at times I’m grinning
Proud of myself for being home with the family
Telling myself that where I am is very
Responsible, practical,
Emotional and tactical
The game of life taught me to be a better edition
A meaningful way for me to engage with the human condition
And once I came home after school there wasn’t a question
Because I was home for 3 days, but the rest, I was out on a mission
But now the pandemic
Made me endemic
In the household, I checked it
And every fight took the air out of my brain like I was an anemic
So now I’m sitting in front of you
Asking you, imploring you
Whether these thoughts popping into me are an acceptable form of question

What am I trying to do here?
What am I trying to say?
Am I taking advantage so I don’t go astray?
Is it too easy to stand clear
Of having to really steer
My life’s ship in any direction?
Do I just ignore the bad to avoid a correction?
I tell myself
Let me go
It’s okay to hit the road
Because the longer that I stay
The devil in the details
Will force me away

This little voice inside is yelling out of my heart
Telling me that it’s enough and it’s time to live apart
The everyday happens every day
The conflict happens anyway
When I was in college, I could afford it
Being away was a buffer from the wars, it
Made me feel insulated
It was okay, though I capitulated
Because I wasn’t around to hear the sounds of conflict around me
My parents’ disagreements couldn’t alter the sounds that we
Experienced day to day
I felt like I had a way
To find myself and explore it, have a say
I could mess up, face it
I wasn’t perfect, but played it
To take care of the caretakers
To share the burden with the movers and shakers
Who broke their backs to raise me and my sister,
The missus and mister
Navigated the twister
Of childhood, puberty
Emotional obscurity
So I think I’m doing the right thing sticking around

Am I just here taking the easy way to avoid life getting loud?
What am I trying to do here?
What am I trying to say?
Am I taking advantage so I don’t go astray?
Is it too easy to stand clear
Of having to really steer
My life’s ship in any direction?
Do I just ignore the bad to avoid a correction?
I tell myself
Let me go
It’s okay to hit the road
Because the longer that I stay
The devil in the details
Will force me away

The real kicker in the situation is that I only feel the arguments
When I am in the room, so it feels like the armaments
Come out when I’m around, it feels like I’m serving as a therapist
But neither am I certified nor do I want to be another Sisyphus
I love my parents, my family
I promise it’s my humanity
That causes me to be so confused in this situation, so all I have to say is—

What am I trying to do here?
What am I trying to say?
Am I taking advantage so I don’t go astray?
Is it too easy to stand clear
Of having to really steer
My life’s ship in any direction?
Do I just ignore the bad to avoid a correction?
I tell myself
Let me go
It’s okay to hit the road
Because the longer that I stay
The devil in the details
Will force me away

Always an advocate of North Texas, Aabid grew up in the DFW suburbs of Grapevine and Euless. While in college, he developed an interest in spoken word and written poetry and competed in competitions with MSA Lone Star Council as well as through on campus organizations at Southern Methodist University. After graduating with a BBA in Business Management and a BA in Philosophy, he transitioned into a career in Technology Consulting, where he helps government clients implement systems to better process applications for their healthcare-related programs.

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