So what if I don't conform

to that picture-perfect paradigm

you've placed me in so presumptuously?

Maybe I'll tear my way out

of that cold, conventional cage

you think would be so cute

and run away on a rough, uncharted path

overgrown with entangled woods

that I'll figure out as I go along

with a map from the one who made them.

I've heard all the tired reassurances

and not-so-subtle suggestions,

but maybe I just don't feel the same way

and don't like being (s)mothered.

What if I never find a nice girl

or a white picket fence and green shutters

or two point three children and a dog?

I'll just find volumes waiting to be written,

or a room full of young minds waiting to be filled,

or an open space at the foot of the altar

waiting for me to come near again.

You think you can strike a match and spark a flame,

but the wind could blow it out before it ever begins.

What if the fire just never ignites?

Would it really be that bad?

Author's Note: This poem has a sequel, entitled "Swiftly Shattered Systematics," which is also on my FictionPress page. If you liked this poem, then feel free to check it out as well!