A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
Several of the young men
from the treatment center are
already dead. They spanned
the demographic spectrum
so no conclusions can be made
about why they did, or didn’t, make it.
They just went back to using…
I remember their mothers
from the Family Program
where we gathered for a week
to educate ourselves about addiction
as “disease,” and to learn
to not “enable,” and
to practice letting go.
We held hands, and role played.
and chanted healing mantras,
and shared “experience, strength,
and hope.” But in the restroom,
we dropped our masks and wailed
full blast, and held each other
and collapsed on the floor,
showing cell phone images
of our boys suited up for little league
and tumbling with their puppies.
Like every other addict’s mother,
I have cried myself out, wrung
dry and ground down by the grief
and fear that fuels my weeping.
The single lesson I have learned
is this: A person can only feel
so much. Eventually, affect overflows
and loses shape as it escapes
from its container. If the thing
inside is hot? It scalds or scorches
every part of us it touches.
And if it’s cold, it freezes.
Copyright 2018 Kate Daniels.