Beating a dead horse

by Vivian Bird

Because it was the only thing to me,
I didn’t realize it was gone a long time ago.
Even a close friend said, “Think about it.”
But I decided not to.
I had thrown out everything I’d owned.
Moved halfway across 6,000 miles.
I’d gotten new friends.
A new job.
Even started drinking vodka
and going by a different name.
But every other good night,
I took my cane out and began beating that beast again.
It wasn’t really there anymore, but I still was.
Deep down.
Just me and the wood splitting on the roadside.