“Sophie’s Choices” Poetry by Todd Matson

Take the pills
or not?  That is her
question.  Every.  Single.  Day.

Be chemically castrated,
lobotomized – a dead woman walking?
Or submit to incessant insults and accusations
from demons waterboarding a broken brain, conspiring
to conjure endless sleepless nights of interminable torture?

She recalls easier
choices.  Red popsicle
or blue? Cheerleading or
soccer? Prom with David or
Ben? Political science or maybe
psychology? Marry after high school
or college? Two children or maybe three?

That was before invisible hostile cosmic
forces waged biological warfare on her brain
and she was blacklisted by God and favorited by Satan.

Now she feels trapped under the weight
of watchful eyes in a 5-star restaurant with no exit
where the glaring demon waiter singles her out, snatches
the menu from her hands trembling with tardive dyskinesia.
“What will it be?  Milk toast or the live coral snake bouillabaisse?”

Sophie ponders her
choices. “Did the waiter just
ask me that or is this my insanity?”

Battle plan for today the same as yesterday.
Navigate between extremes of suffering
as one dead inside or delusional.
Negotiate the elusive release
of the hostage in the
mirror.  Never
surrender.

Take the pills or not. My question
too.  Therapeutic effects
or side effects?

Encourage her to take her poison pills and be chemically
castrated, lobotomized and morphed into a zombie?
Or be complicit with her biologically poisoned
brain that conjures legions of demons
from the bowels of hell to torture
her with unremitting insults?

Seriously!  Persuade her
to live as demon possessed
or merely exist as the living dead?
 
What
  does
    it mean
      to first do
        no harm when all
          that can be done is harmful?

Let her see what a hero
she is to be fighting
relentlessly this
intractable war
on two fronts.

Todd Matson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  He has written poetry for The Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling, has been published in Ariel Chart International Literary Journal, Bluepepper, and The Chamber Magazine, and has written lyrics for songs recorded by a number of contemporary Christian music artists


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