I Can't Cry Anymore

did you wonder who i'd grow up to be
on my first day in the world
did you love me forevermore
did you open up your heart

in my earliest memory
i was always alone
in the fields and woods behind us
i wandered the streets in nothing but short pants 
on the hot summer days 
and played in the dirt road

did you ever say you loved me
did you ever put me to bed
or kiss me goodnight

did you ever hold me out of love

i don't remember

when your temper flared and 
you hit me to the ground
did you wonder
what that would do
i loved the back woods 
where i could go and be alone 
with my thoughts 
no one could touch me there

even as a kid i lived a double life
one in my head and one in the stupid world

you fed us and clothed us 
as you always would say
was that your only reward

was that the extent
of your love

how much do i owe you 
for that service
am i free and clear
or do i still owe you something

we moved away when i was eight
to a middle class neighborhood

my brothers still fought all day
and we still wore short pants and bare feet
and kids made fun of us
and no one told us better

i spent most of my teens in the basement
staying out of trouble
avoiding dad when he got angry
reading books and dreaming in my own head

i only had one or two friends all through school
i was so socially retarded for my age
for some reason school was a breeze
i never studied even in high school
i guess i was smart
but really at home i spent so much time 
alone reading 
that school was like being in my room

in eighth grade i won the spelling bee
and went to the regionals
why didn't you take me there?
did you really have to work that day?
the principal thought it was strange...

when i played in my symphonic band concerts
why did you never come

when school had open house
why were you never there?

in 12th grade the school jazz band played 
their last concert.
everyone's parents were there
except you
kids asked me about it and i didn't 
know what to say

i never went to the school prom 
i was so painfully shy
and had nothing to wear

when i graduated i didn't go to the ceremony
because i knew no one would come

when i finally moved to toronto on my own
it was strange
i only missed my dog Skippy
who died the year before

to me it was just my room again
in another country
in another city
me, with my thoughts 

i didn't even notice how alone i was
until years later 
when i made new friends in london

by then i had exiled myself
from everyone i left behind
it only hurts when i see other people
with more normal lives

and now it's been 14 years 
there's no going back

i changed my name
and changed my life
i taught myself everything
you never taught me
in the hardest possible way

you would say you always loved me
but who did you love
how can you say you love
when you never knew me
never touched me
never comforted me
never encouraged me

is love just a word that means

none of this is my fault
yet i feel like i was punished for something
and how can you feel good about yourself
after so many years

i've built my own world now 
this is my world
it's not perfect 
but love means something

and i can't cry anymore

            by Adam Love © 2006