Functioning Insanity

My brain is a womb
birthing triplets.

My thoughts labor
to deliver one conclusion,
but they waver like
a politician chasing votes.

From the same lips
I speak of a water glass
half empty, half full,
or simply something
to quench my thirst.

Perhaps it is because
I am a middle sister
pulled between this
and that until I am
more question than answer.

Divided between black,
white and gray I am functioning
insanity directed by the voices in my head.

©Susie Clevenger 2013

Written for MindLoveMisery's prompt 17 Optimist, Pessimist, Realist


Vandana Sharma said…
How true different thoughts emerge from our same brain be it bad or good.
Anonymous said…
This is fantastic Susie love the opening lines they are brilliant. I shuffle around between the 3 myself! Fabulous job =)
Gemma Wiseman said…
Those voices are doing a mighty fine job as far as poetry is concerned. Loved this unusual subject.
Karen said…
We must be sisters! Yes, middle sisters.

I have always been blessed/cursed with being able to see all sides...sure makes it hard to take one!
George S Batty said…
some great lines..."like a politician chasing votes"..."I am functioning insanity"...
aren't we all...I get tired jumping back and forth across the fence...
you say it very cleverly.
Kerry O'Connor said…
Those first two lines say it all - I know exactly how that feels without further explanation. My brain needs a vacation.
Sherry Blue Sky said…
What a great hook those first two lines are! Love this poem!
gabrielle said…
This reminds me of Tevya in "Fiddler on the Roof" who had these impossible internal dialogues. "On the one hand, on the other hand" But somehow you have managed to come up with three!
Love the poem and can definitely relate.
Susan said…
CHasing votes, huh? That's a great metaphor for the surveying we do in our indecisions as if we needed a certain amount of approval from the right people. Nicely done! I too am a middle sister, but I don't think it has anything to do with it.
ed pilolla said…
as a middle child, i can relate too. you have such a deft, light touch with heavy subject matter. i have always valued the questions, or at least attempted to. that could be a rationalization of someone who isn't headstrong. really liked the between white, black and gray. clever and thoughtful.
Herotomost said…
Why is it that the most responsibility as time wears on always falls to the middle child. This is something my wife endures everyday, and she is the only one of the children who was adopted by the family in her teens...unbelievable. This was an amazing point and an eloquent write. As Always....loved it.
I can so relate to this, feel like I'm always running from one to the other. Wonderful!
Kay L. Davies said…
I love the first two lines, too, Susie.
When I was young, I always thought I'd like to have triplets (I was very young) until, when I was 21, my mother had my youngest brother. She was in a hospital room with other "difficult" cases, and there was a young woman of 22 or 23, no more, having triplets. She already had one, 18 months old. Scared the wits out of me.
But I can relate to the voices in the brain.
As it happened, I had no children of my own, but I still hear that politician in my mind. I wonder if it is because we write that we are "cursed" to see both (or all) sides of a story.
kaykuala said…
Divided between black,
white and gray I am functioning
insanity directed by the voices in my head.

I like the way you put it Susie! As long as it is guided by the head and not the heart the 'insanity' is a blessing,really! Great!

Funny, Susie, I am the youngest and yet I am the grey between the black and white (both rigidly colored) personalities.

I can really relate to your brain birthing triplets! I know just how that feels... Amy
Unknown said…
Cool process and that you are able to find words for insanity or should I say different shades of insanity...interesting!
Susie Swanson said…
I too, can relate to this as I am the oldest one in our crew. Love this poem so much. Hugs, xo
Anonymous said…
I can certainly relate to this. My mind is always racing in a thousand different directions!
hyperCRYPTICal said…
As a middle child, I can relate to your words.
Odd thing: much later in life when discussing with my brother and sister the emotions of sibling 'order' - they all felt 'middle child' emotions and beliefs too.
Anna :o]
Lolamouse said…
Love your use of simile and metaphor in this, Susie! Oh, the trials of being a middle sister! Jan Brady was right!
Anonymous said…
Fabulous :)