Gone are those bitter years
of crunching pain and shame.
Those twisted years, I was crushed
by every heavy trouble.

Hunched up on hesitant legs
I hunted for shadows to hide in,
or stayed in my cold, lonely room,
that none may see the imagined disgrace
scribbled on my face,
and signed by my children in drug-tinted blood.

The horror of discovery is a spiked,
multi-gloved punch, slamming in from all sides,
attacking every organ, every limb and nerve ending.

It hurts so much everywhere
that you don’t know which bit feels the worst.

If you risk confrontation, you will be unprepared
when they claim it is only play.
You will not be ready
for the fear and impotent rage that may seethe,
clawing at all the places that still ache from shock.
You may say you have seen the needles,
and needles only point one way; to distance and decay.

Still they deny all question, or risk, of addiction.
Indignant, they walk away,
their pace quickened by a need for the next fix.

You scrabble to hatch amateur plans that never reach fruition.

You think nothing will ever hit you as hard as the moment
you first heard the news,
but you soon learn the truth.
It was just the beginning, an introduction…

Addiction is unstinting, unrelenting, indifferent to your suffering.
Addiction never stops giving until it is overcome by will.
Robbery, prostitution, and any way
to find the funds to satisfy the keening need,
fill the addict’s hours and minutes until they cease breathing,
or get so sick of the chilling temptress’s allure
that they are ready to heal.

These days,
these reborn days and weeks,
as he eats, clean food nourishes my healing frame,
as she drinks, fresh fruit sweetens my parched palate.
Overlaid by nectar, the bitter taste fades from memory.


My daughter has replaced drugs with fresh fruit smoothies. My son has switched to a vegan diet, and become obsessed with healthy food. He may also be in recovery.

The Daily Post #Bitter

©Jane Paterson Basil


6 thoughts on “Nectar

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