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How Alcoholism Destroys a Mother

A blank, white room fills my view
An I.V. drip glows next to a bed,
A failing body wrapped in its sheets.
The room swallows everything near it: nurses, visitors, and energy.
The beeps that reflect her life seem to come from every direction.
Her frigid face starts to writhe and fade,
And lose a little more of myself.


When we were younger, the bathroom often filled with the air of a little blue bottle.
I am reminded of grownup parties, goodnight kisses, and worn mascara.
I don’t know what I need,
A mother or a mighty maple.
Either one are an anchor I don’t have in my life now.


She has a 70% chance of making it
All I can think of is
The 30 percent
That she
Doesn’t.
Like an idiot, I think she might not.


This isn’t some drama with a grumpy doctor who solves it all.
It’s just her liver.
It’s just a possibility.
It’s just scary.


She’s getting better they say,
but I can barely ghost my arms around her,
in fear that she’ll lose the last of her own strength.
I know she won’t disappear.
Because for now her body is a soft shell that’s too frail to hug.
Even right next to her I feel miles away.


She needs her rest but I can hardly get that myself,
I’m trying my best to keep on,
But I’m that soft shell too.
I love you, mom.




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