LOOKING BACK

BeFunky_floor.jpg

not so long ago
all of the treasures which were mine

all of those gems
which shine forth
throughout each day

the friendly smile and
the grandchild’s
newly
learnt
word

did not reach me,
but remained unrecognised and unheard.

not so long ago
came the day when
my need for escape
freed me from my shell
I floated to the ceiling
so
high
so
far
away

I looked
down upon
shattered
pieces
of myself
abandoned on the kitchen floor
the part of me that contained the mouth
moved
and the sound that it formed was
“this too shall pass
this
too
shall
pass”

Perhaps there were crack dealers with guns in my attic, or perhaps I had come home to hide after running from my son. Maybe I had found him in a terrifying drug stupor, or I had got my wallet out and it was empty when there should have been enough money for me to buy food to stave off my hunger.

whatever the cause
I was on the floor
because
someone
had suggested that
I look
at the
problem
from
another angle,
and I had never lain on my kitchen floor before, so I was trying a new cure for what ailed me. I was searching the ceiling for an answer. It was the only new angle I cound find.

my
chanting lips
could not
drive out
the horror
of
what
was my
life

could not
assuage the
fear
that
my son
who I loved
although I
no
longer
knew
him,
no
longer
liked
him,
was going to die.

He was going to die because he could not begin to control his habit. Even though he was in touch with his mortality, it was beyond his ability to save himself. His willpower had flown, and his habit increased.

death honed his scythe in preparation.

not all of them die
so prematurely
but of those who do,
some have
the mark upon them,
and
everyone
can
see
the skeletal grin
of the grim reaper
at their shoulder
months before
their
bodies
are
stolen
to
join
their
poor
lost
souls

the ceiling held no answer to my problem.

after a while my sad spirit sank back into my body
and despairing, I sat on the stairs
staring at the wall
“this
too
shall
pass”

it passed.

and now all of the treasures which are mine

all of those gems
which shine forth
throughout each day

the friendly smile and
the grandchild’s
newly
learnt
word

my son’s laughter and his kindly eyes

reach me,
are recognised, heard and celebrated.

© Jane Paterson Basil

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18 thoughts on “LOOKING BACK

    1. You may have noticed that I have an addiction section here. It contains a selection of my poems on the subject. I’m putting together the story of the journeys of my two younger children, in poems. It will be a difinitive book, targetted towards addicts and their families, and those at risk of addiction. This is my mission.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Thank you. I was sure you would. These days I don’t click the follow button unless i feel that there is a connection, and I felt a strong connection when I checked out your blog xx

          Like

  1. That is a painful story yet with a beautiful ending. The main details are there from beginning to end. Could feel your confusion and attempts to understand and see other outcomes. You made yourself very vulnerable in putting that out there. But it sure helps us get to know you and where you’ve been a whole lot better. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. This is a fitting poem for that day, too. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope that my strength is in my vulnerability – and my openness.
      I’m spending the day with my children and grandchildren today. My eldest daughter hasn’t seen his brother since he was imprisoned over a year ago, so we’re all really excited.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. What you do is very courageous, and I want to be as brave and open as you are. If we are honest about our experiences, it will reduce the sense of shame and isolation that others feel. We are in this together, fighting the same foe, whatever face addiction may show.
          I think I feel a poem coming on!

          Liked by 1 person

            1. I have foolishly become entangled in a piece about Mothers Day. It’s a mess, but I’ve become gripped, and don’t want to let it go.
              You have persuadedme! Today was one of the happiest days of my life, but trying to explain the reason is getting me into deep water and ruining it!
              I’ll see if I can do a better job with the other idea, although I’m dog-tired, and I should sleep

              Liked by 1 person

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