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When the alcoholic fell before reaching
The bed, and pissed his pants before
Passing out, and shat himself, and puked
Up what was left of lunch, and just lay there
Unconscious, soaking the carpet, his program
Practicing wife turned him on his side,
And left him there to sleep it off.
Whatever lesson she meant to share
When she told this story at a meeting
Eluded me. I could not make it fit
The rage-filled narrative I lived inside
That starred a drug-addicted son who
Jacked his mother’s car and traded it for dope.
I settled for detachment minus hatred…
Regardless, love’s cellmate – hate – germinated
And grew until the bilious pit in my stomach
When his name blinked into view on the I-phone
Screen had eaten me in two. For longer than you
Might imagine, I lived like that, the two halves
Of me detached, one from the other: heart
From mind. My body from his body.
Copyright 2018 Kate Daniels. From In the Months of My Son’s Recovery by Kate Daniels. Forthcoming from LSU Press (2019).
Reprinted from Five Points vol. 18, #2 2017.