A Trade, You Said

You used to smile.

That is the only way that I am like you

people say that once-upon-a-long-ago-memory

I was always smiling.

I first saw the show you starred in

at the house that belonged to my grandparents

after my grandmother had died

The cousins were all watching the “big kid TV”

my parents relented and I watched it

and kept watching it

years and years and after it stopped being cool

after there were bigger kids and better shows

I still watched yours.

Even in those first few years I saw the plot holes

The episodes mostly revolved around the same problem

revealing the secret identity, and covering it up

“No it turns out I was wrong that’s not me wrong house.”

Then after years of being one of the few people my age

still watching

it was revealed that it had been you all along.

I remember when I first found out your real name

Destiny Hope Cyrus

because your daddy thought that it was your destiny

to bring hope to the world

You left your name behind.

“No it turns out I was wrong that’s not me wrong name.”

I remember hearing the story

they called you smiley

or smiley Miley

Miley stuck.

I will not say that you have now ruined my childhood

And the memories with my cousins

In a too-empty house

You haven’t.

They will say that this is your independence

You will say that this is your voice

that this is your choice

that this is who you are

Oh, trust me, I know people can change.

But I am still a Disney-loving “good girl”

Even though it isn’t cool.

And people my age now talk about you again.

You will say that you are an adult now.

You will say that you are ready to disappear

into this identity

“No it turns out I was wrong that wasn’t me this is.”

Oh, trust me, I’ve learned that people can change.

You can no longer make the effort to be there for us

You can no longer take the restrictions

It seems to you that being a role model is not

adult-like

So instead you turn to this.

So instead you turn into this.

I will not hate you.

I will not be angry at you

For abandoning what few of us there are left

I will not hate you.

We will be our own role models

Take over the name you didn’t want

The burden of beauty you didn’t want

We will be the hope

and you will be left to be whatever it is you chose

Over the few determined Disney-watching “good girls”

I do not hate you, Miley.

But I do not watch your new show.

This thing you created, searching for what it will never give…

It will never give.

You want a new identity?

You want them to forget the “good girl”?

“No it turns out I was wrong that’s not me wrong house.”

You will always be the ex-good girl.

They will never forget.

I would welcome you back

and show you how to heal

They will say you’re too far gone.

I will still pray.

And if you turn around

I will tell you stories of my grandparents’ house

Big-kid shows through the grief

I will open my arms to you

You will be loved for real here.

They will tell me that can’t happen

and I am still praying

I will not condemn you.

But I will say

I have not seen you smiling.

You offered it up for this.

And now there is nothing similar between us

I am smiling again

and you are not.

(In response to the weekly writing challenge.)

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