White Satin

Or Needles and Bones

needles and bones.jpg

There are many safe
places to swim,
but you leaped
into a downriver dogleg,
laughing like it was a lemonade spring,
anticipating sizzling festival fun
and satin wrapped hot-water bottle solace
even while you spun in a spiral;
a blind optimist whose
swimming certificate for
beginners held no dominion over
this whirlpool whose
mocking eyes
on the thin
rim of mortality
while its tickling
liquid grip
stole your cash, your
clothes, your friends and
your kin, your food, your
home, your flesh and
muscle and skin and all
the sane
thoughts in your head.
Even the cheeky
grin and the dimpled cheeks
that your mother had
so delighted in,
receded, leaving
only needles and bones.

A pauper’s coffin
feels cold and grim.
Your bed of white satin
defies all metaphor.

Worldwide, there are an estimated 15 million people who suffer from opioid dependence, and there are an estimated 69,000 opioid deaths a year.

I have often reminded myself and others, that as the mother of two addicts, I am only one of many. Addiction has caused devastation within my family, but I look at these figures and I’m horrified to think of the amount of lives which are affected. As we say in Families Anonymous, addiction is a family illness.

15 million people + their families = horror beyond measure…

and it’s not only the families who suffer.

©Jane Paterson Basil

24 thoughts on “White Satin

  1. Oh what a line “laughing like it was a lemonade spring”, and then how the sweetness turns so very grim. I can’t imagine how tough your situation is. Hopefully you can still be good to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ivor. For a few years I was under constant siege, and I forgot how to look after myself, but now both of my children are in recovery. It’s left scars, and of course, there’s no knowing what the future will bring, but I’m confident, and proud of them both.


                1. MS makes me think of the joker from batman, with his nasty, evil tricks. I saw that you were a carer, and I thought that perhaps there was something like that behind your comment. When did she pass?


        1. She pretends to be – says that she and her boyfriend are looking for housing, but they can’t get it as there’s nothing for couple in their situation. She’s lying; they’re in assisted living four minutes walk from me. She’s an addict, but although I can spot it a mile off, I chose denial since there’s something lovable about her. It’s eating away at the stupid mother in me.
          I’ve never given her money, and I need to tell her why. I can’t be one of those people who steps round her like she’s invisible.


          1. Yeah I find each addiction has a manifestation of behaviours. Except for once I haven’t stolen or manipulated money for you addiction and always paid rent bills and animal food before I got my alcohol. But if I kept going I guess mu behaviours would have changed leaning toward lying and cheating to get my alcohol. Addiction sucks balls.
            I hate walking past homeless people and saying no to giving money as well as I want to rescue them but I just can’t solve everything I see and sadly like you I see it all very clearly what’s happening for them. Off to work! Ciao!

            Liked by 1 person

      1. You may feel that way, but that is not how I perceive you to be. You shine the light into dark corners, you fight on, you encourage, you support, you love, you write to raise awareness, you bare your soul – you show the way forward …..

        Liked by 1 person

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