By Sandi DeRuntz
To Brie Or Not To Brie
Havarti, cheddar, goat, swiss, and brie,
I have always loved, all things cheese.
Then one day after a charcuterie board,
My throat swelled up, like a fall gourd.
I ran to the doctor, “What is wrong with me!?”
He said that I had been eating, too much cheese.
I scoffed and laughed, all the way home.
An EPI pen nearby, for my provolone.
You could be Me, too.
Hi, I am Me. Would you please treat Me like You?
I used to be like You, and I judged Me, too.
You may not know, that I was one of You.
Some of You left when I became a Me, too.
Can I have your attention, as a former You?
When I was a You, I thought I was right, too.
Please give Me a chance, and listen to Me.
Recycling the You, is the best way to be.
I know You think it’s my fault that I’m Me.
If You’d just listen, maybe You’d see.
I thought so too, so I tried to be You.
The box is so tight, no matter what I do.
And Hi to the Me’s, I am now a Me, too.
I am sorry for the role I played, in all of the You.
I wish I listened to the other Me’s yell.
I bare it all for You because penance compels.
Please, You, I didn’t ask to be unhoused,
Another home burnt under news You browsed,
You labeled me lazy because I was homeless,
Like I didn’t fight and as if I was boneless.
Listen, You, it burned because it was unsteady.
Not because I was untrained, nor fire ready.
When the bells went off, I saved what I could.
Geico couldn’t replace what no longer stood.
You, I get it, why not move somewhere else?
A housing cost increase, I guess You never felt.
Or maybe You did, once very long ago.
I did too, but then Covid, You know?
Again, to the Me’s, I am sorry for judging.
I get when reading this, if it feels begrudging.
I was a You, I admit that it’s true.
I want to improve, for all the Me’s, too.
You, please listen, I’m not on Food Stamps anymore,
But why do You make Me, explain why I was poor?
I know I’m not perfect, but things kept mounting up.
I did everything You said, but it was never enough.
Look, You, I didn’t plan to become this sick,
Disability benefits as my only survival schtick.
I tried and I tried, until my heart broke.
Literally then figuratively, with every Me oath.
You, I am not special, I am one many Me’s.
It started way before the cop calls about DV.
And then I left in 2 tries, when 7’s the average,
You asked why two? The suggestion isn’t passive,
Please, You, one moment, I have more to say,
I have to acknowledge Me, if You’d pause and stay,
Me, I am sorry, I denied Me and myself
I now know the pain, all the Me’s felt.
Okay, You, thank you for patiently waiting,
Remember when our children were happily playing?
One day my littlest one, became suddenly violent.
It wasn’t because their dad became suddenly silent.
I know that You can empathize with this,
St Jude’s found a tumor, but what if it was missed?
Special needs for any reason, tumor or other,
Should be part of, “We’ll always be there for each other”
No one knew or could have predicted such hard news.
And You, it’s the same, when we heard the Me, toos.
No one wants a continuous life of suffering,
I was a You, and would a You be bluffing?
Okay, You, I own this isn’t a pity party,
If You think I’m alone, the truth is, hardly.
And the same You’s joke about my Mexican traits,
The same way I’ve heard You’s, joke about rape.
Maybe not You, but another one of You,
When I was a You, I was all the You’s, too.
Me, I am sorry, that I took a part in all of this.
I yell with the Me’s, for all the Me’s I missed.
Please You, can You relate to my old You?
What if You lost the You that You knew?
You might think You know exactly what You’d do
I thought so too, when I was a You
You have friends and family, with cracks to fall through.
How would You feel if it was hidden from You?
Don't make them ashamed if they become a Me, too.
Hi, I am Me, would You please treat Me like You?
Sandi DeRuntz is a student at CVCC returning after a gap decade. She didn't think she could do it, but she did. She hopes by the time this is published she is an alumni.