First his father leaves.
His mother leaves him
her empties for playthings
gleaming in the Florida sun.

His little row boat bobs on the lake
like a wine cork. Wind
in his face makes a thirst.
Every fish he pulls in gleams

like a bottle. At last call
he drains another job to the dregs.
Two wives, two sons, his only book
of poems flicker and dim.

At the end he cradles his cat,
swirls vodka and Crystal Lite together,
sees in the bottom of the glass a lake, a boat
and a boy, baited and hooked.

Karen Douglass' books include Red Goddess Poems; Bones in the Chimney (fiction); Green Rider, Thinking Horse (non-fiction); Sostenuto, (poems) and The Great Hunger (poems), which is available from Plain View Press (2009). Individual poems have appeared in a wide variety of publications.

In this piece I am trying to understand, rather than judge, the choices a friend made in the long throes of alcoholism. It was always hard to support without enabling, to respect his rights but not his decisions. He lost every important thing in his life to that addiction.



Copyright 2009