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Kate Daniels: At the Meetings They Say, “Detach with Love”

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.

One comment on “Kate Daniels: At the Meetings They Say, “Detach with Love”

  1. Andrea Hollander
    July 9, 2018

    A very powerful poem that beautifully explores a very complicated set of emotions. Thank you, Kate, for writing it. And thank you, Michael Simms for printing it.

    Liked by 1 person

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