Us vs. Them

When I got sober and as I grew in sobriety, watching sports became less interesting and consuming. Underneath this, other things mattered more than what had once been lost weekends beginning on Thursdays watching sports and mindlessly drinking alcohol through Monday. Winning and losing became something I avoided. Now sometimes like this past week watching life feeling more and more divisive, I find it harder to hold to a sense of unity of purpose in my AA groups sometimes divided, conservative vs liberal, Brewers vs Cubs, Packers vs Bears, and secular vs traditional.


In this game
Winners and losers
And so we cheer
And so we cry
Ultimately nobody wins
The zero sum game


Red vs Blue or Blue vs Grey
150 years hence
And here we are
Fighting unwinnable battles
With everything to lose
And with nothing to gain
This the war between Us and Them
And still we fight to fight
I oft wonder what would it take
To come together
Putting differences aside
And to live with purpose
Common noble and true


I sometimes play the ‘What If’ game
I rarely want to play it but often do
In spite of my better intentions
What if this and what if that
You know how it goes for
I suspect you play the what if game too
But what if there is no plan
No grand and glorious design
What if I lived my life as it is
Each day good or bad a gift
A treasure to freely share
Rather than something to endure
Maybe that’s a better game
For me to try to play today


I watch a child
Play a game
She invents
Makes the rules
Rules that
Neither punish
Nor harm
Rules that change
Change as needed
Oh to be a child
Knowing I cannot
But I can remember
And I can dream


Two sides of a penny
Heads and Tails
This or That
Us vs Them
We’re told to choose
Different in every way
It’s the third side
The little smooth edge
That joins the two
More than a mm
But less than two
That is harder to see

About the Author

Robert B is sober alcoholic in Madison, WI participating in AA and AlAnon at Fitchburg Serenity Club. He has been sober since April 21, 2007. He also began writing and sharing poetry on Facebook during his first year sober as part of his recovery from alcohol dependency, acute anxiety and chronic depression. He has found that creativity expressed primarily through writing poetry and playing various stringed instruments helped him heal and thrive.

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Margaret E Bromley
Margaret E Bromley
2 years ago

I am from Akron and have been around AA meeting since the 60’s for my father and the 90’s for myself.  It used to seem so simple to sit down in a meeting, to just listen and feel a sense of relief to have a place to land after all. As I observe in the meetings in this conservative town of Naples Florida I am seeing an all or nothing embracing of a God program and feel that as a Liberal I am stepping into a landmine field to go to a meeting. Some may say  that I must go… Read more »