Not My Monkey, Not My Circus

Life is a three ring circus
On a good day
It’s just the three rings
The performances are flawless
The animals obedient
Blue skies and cotton candy
But it’s still a circus

On the not-so-perfect days
And let’s face it
If your lucky
You get maybe three perfect days
A year
And on those
Less-than-stellar days
The clowns are creepy
Their car has a flat
You’re knee deep
In elephant dung
The ringmaster
Is riding the bareback performer
The tigers have eaten the poodles
And the number of rings
Has become infinite

I used to let
Every little thing
Annoy the fuck
Outta me
Until I learned
Two things

The first being
That everyone has issues
And by issues I mean
Fears and struggles and insecurities
In addition to the everyday stuff
Like bills and kids
Coworkers and family members
We all have pet peeves
And character flaws
Idiosyncrasies
And last straws

But the other thing I learned
Is that I don’t
Have to let
Every little thing
Get to me
I need to remember
That you have a monkey
On your back
Just like me
So I’m going to
Try to not add to your stresses
But I certainly don’t
Have to let you
Or your monkey
Become my monkey

I’ve worked really hard
To shrink
My own monkey
Down to a size
Where I can
Pick him up
Off my back
And tuck him in my pocket

I’ve learned to deal with
Just one ring of my circus of a life
At a time
So while I’ll gladly help you
If asked
To assist you in your stunts
Or crack the whip
At the beasts in your life
I’m getting pretty good
At sticking
To my own tent

And if you notice
A bemused smile
Creep onto my face
While you are in the throes
Of a dramatic moment
It’s because I’m reminding myself
That you are
Not my monkey
And not my circus

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