I want to recognise you


rain spots on my window
didn’t dampen my awakening spirit,
and the reverberation of tyres on glistening tarmac
was a roaring cheer for the living.
I almost smiled
in my almost happy dawn.

you had brought your promises to my jarred door,
with open face filled out in the right places,
freshly laundered jeans
and a clean, fragrant
upright stance.
your smile was open,
but I have seen your tricks before,
and though I was unsure, I ignored the warning
and let you in with words of caution,
cancelling previous plans
for anger and pain shared, halved
and neatly tucked away
followed by weekend laughter
and raucous rabble-gabble games of scrabble
between friends cheating in jest

I can see you love me
and you want to be clean
just as I realise it wasn’t your intention
to shatter me again with your shrinking weakness
but you are not yet ready
to reach for me

I don’t know what to look for
when I stare at your unconscious face
your shrunken body slumped across the room
I want to recognise you as my son

take away this thin man
and his sachets
of filth

©Jane Paterson Basil


15 thoughts on “I want to recognise you

    1. Things seem to be improving, but this is a particularly dangerous stage. Paul was so good this morning. He cleaned my kitchen, which is a sign of recovery. This afternoon he smothered the flat in a smell of burning chemicals and passed out. He’s at a friend’s house, but the friend has gone out looking for his girlfriend. I think something may have happened to her. He’s been gone for over 3 hours and though I’ve spoken to him an the phone, I’m scared for him.
      I’m sick of the misery and death in this town. Jodie (Laura’s BF) died a year ago today.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. When i got that job in the woods I felt as if a Greek God had set an underling to throw crap at me for a while, just for fun, and then forgotten me. When he suddenly remembered he felt guilty and decided to make it up to me by letting me live in the woods for six months. It’s happened to me a few times in my life; just when I feel I can’t take it for another day I get scooped up and saved.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. He seems more familiar today. He spent last night waiting in the flat of some guy who promised him methadone, but when they got back, at about 4 am, they didn’t have any. He’d been there for over nine hours, twiddling his thumbs and clucking. Now he’s not at all well, but at least he’s not under the influence of drugs. I wish he’d bite the bullet and get it over with, but I don’t think he will.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. When I wrote this my son was withdrawing from heroin, but was using other drugs to hold him together. The good news is that he is weaning himself off the other chemicals now, and becoming recognisable – but it’s a hard slog for him. He is unwell, and he lives with his sister, who is also an addict, and who supplements her habit with horrible legal highs, which make her destructive and dangerous to be with. He’s very stressed and anxious.


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