That cracked and pitted path

Note to family and friends: please don’t be alarmed by this poem – this is a response to Esther Newton’s Weekly Challenge, and refers to the situation a year ago.

Medical mutilation is her means to an end,
a dirty deviation that I cannot mend.
It’s messed with her mind and it’s made her mad,
stealing all the inspiration she once had;
everything she tells me is a misinterpretation,
most of what she sees is wild hallucination.
Her fading head is fetid with foul fabrication,
and her family are drowning in devastation.
She shouts allegations of spies in the trees,
of worms beneath her skin and injected disease.
She threatens and she rages and she begs and she pleas:
Why don’t you ever listen to me?
She stomps to the bathroom and she locks the door,
not caring that I know what she’s in there for.
She knows I forbid the filthy drugs within my home,
but selfishness is part of the addict’s syndrome.
At one a.m. she’s yelling and she hasn’t stopped at four,
when finally I’m forced to push her out of the door.

Despair, like an iron maiden, crushes me in,
re-piercing my scarred and broken skin.
My knocking knees weaken and I sink to the floor.
I remember no yesterday, no future dawn;
no memory of the happiness we knew before,
nor the slightest hope that she may be reborn.
Rusted iron blood clogs my veins,
clanks and clammers in my brain,
and though I try to stand, I try in vain.
So this is it, I think, I will not rise again

I take deep breaths to banish from my head,
all of the recriminating things she has said
and all of paranoid drug-induced inventions,
while I try to focus on my intentions.
I lie on my back and I meditate
on how to return to a positive state.
She’s been well before, and whatever the cost
she can be well again; all is never lost.
Whatever the danger of Laura’s reproach
I’ll ring the doctor and we’ll find a new approach.

I’ve re-established hope at last.
I’ve found my way back to that cracked and pitted path.
I wonder if the devil will feel my wrath,
or whether he’ll achieve the final laugh.

©Jane Paterson Basil

26 thoughts on “That cracked and pitted path

      1. No, you don’t want to do that with the book you’re writing. It’s much to serious and on topic to be artsy fartsy. You want people to pay attention because you have something life altering to say.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately Laura’s condition hasn’t improved, just changed. The housing association that owns my home has banned her from it, and I have little to do with her, on the advice of the police and family and friends. It’s hard, but I don’t know what where I’d be now, if I had maintained contact. Estrangement is the only possible option left. It may bring her round, but my hopes are low..

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I have learnt to switch off most of the pain – until she rings me, and then it all comes back, but I have my strategies for dealing with it now, and blogging is a major one. I’m hugely grateful for the friendship and support I have found on WP xxx

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It’s a wonderful network, isn’t it! We all have our own crosses to bear I guess. For some they seem to be so hugely onerous. If you go with the theory that we have chosen our life lessons before turning up in this here world of ours, then what we are battling with is of our choosing. I sometimes ask myself what the hell was I thinking !!!!!!!!!

            Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t been able to play your word games lately because Akismet has been trashing my comments – I have no idea why. This means I can’t pimgback, either, so I was wondering – could you check your spam folder and retrieve any comments init please – if you do that Akismet will allow my future comments (and, I assume, pingbacks) on your site…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi,
    I was visiting Esther’s blog and looking at some of her old posts and saw the one from January where you put a link to your poem. Very touching, filled with combined emotions of hope and fear, I could feel where you were. I have been there before with someone in my own family. it is an unbelievable pain and you have found the right words for it.
    Thank you.
    Shalom aleichem,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful message. I write a lot about addiction, (nowadays it all goes onto a different blog – I want to keep this blog for more general posts) so I often get responses from people who’ve been there, and it’s heart-breaking. I hope your family member recovered. I always like to hear a happy ending.


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