April 3, 2011
In some sort of absence
Of direction or focal point
She sits alone getting drunk
At some dirty local joint
Trading dollars for shots
Feeling herself going numb
She doesn’t know where she is going
Or where she’s coming from
As her heart starts beating slower
And her fingers get colder
She closes her eyes
And wishes she was older
And she shuffles back home
Washes off in warm water
And turns to the doorway
Where she sees her daughter
She holds out shaky hands
And says “come over here”
The girl crinkles her nose and says
“You smell like beer”
She shuffles her feet
In discomfort and insecurity
And finds herself chuckling
At her little girl’s maturity
She opened her mouth to speak
But the words never came
And she touched her hair
Apologetically in shame
Instead, the little girl spoke
Her words like sharpened knives
“You have brought all this poison
Into our lives”
“It may seem that way,
But you’re too young to understand.”
She reached out her arm
To touch her daughter’s hand
But instead the girl pulled away
And was quick with her reply
“All you do is bring us down
You are supposed to let us fly.”
“What does that mean?”
The mother said, defensive.
The daughter walked to the door
And turned around, apprehensive.
The light was on her face
She looked more beautiful than ever
But her mother’s head was spinning
She could not keep it together
Just as expected,
She passed out on the bed
The daughter held on
To every word that she said
She walked to the bedside
And touched her mother’s toes
She smelled alcohol and pain
On every inch of her clothes
“It means you’re my mother
We are not supposed to fight,
You’re supposed to be an angel,”
She said, “And goodnight.”

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