When you reach the apex

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I used to watch you clucking your skewed way toward routine danger –
two brutal daily stabs if the cash could be accrued —
felt like crying, yet ate up the sight of you,
hungry for a clue that something had changed.

I waited for a glance, maybe a wave —
but, blind to these stale-lemonade eyes that filtered rainbows from my life,
you strode toward a spiral destiny, as if hell-bent,
your sagging clothes a locomotion of holes,
displaying scraped parchment, stretched thin over sharp bones.

Was that really you, and was it so recent?
Seems no more than a bad dream
that left me weeping,
long, long ago.

The streets hold no echo of your desperate trips.
Shamed alleys contain no ghost of your guilty visits;
so brief and so frequent, with whispered exchange…
and though I hanker to see your face,
I am glad you are safe, and far out of range.

Each moment spent with you feeds  into my memory;
I soak up your words, to keep ’til I see you again.
They murmer as I go to sleep, raise me as I wake,
speak to me in the silence of work, and aid sweet meditation.

Your very being gleams as you speak of where you have been,
what you have seen, done, will do, and will become,
days became weeks, soon to be months, each one noble and clean.
My heart rises as you share your love of life,
and meets yours when you say you love me.

You have burnt the empty coffin of an abandoned destiny,
kicked away the ashes, that they may nourish healthy seed,
thrown away all you don’t need, embraced wise selectivity,
and set your spirit free.

May the hills you climb rise gently to welcome each brave step,
and when you reach the apex, may you gaze upon a calm sea.

xxx

©Jane Paterson Basil

25 thoughts on “When you reach the apex

    1. Thank you Kate. I’m going to print this off for Laura, with the first couple of stanzas written in a colour that’s uncomfortable to read, and the rest in the most beautiful, clear font I can find.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe it does. Thank you for your comment Lynn, and for all the kindness you showed, back when things seemed hopeless. I would have been in a far worse state if it hadn’t been for my WP friends.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. She is. So many amazing people around the globe have strengthened and supported her. I’ve been the vessel from which she has drawn all of your kindnesses, and my friend David has given her a new life in a safe environment.I’ll always be grateful to everybody who has had a hand in her recovery. She’s done the hard part – and it is monumentally hard.
      Not every addict is so brave and determined, but neither is every addict so fortunate.

      Liked by 1 person

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