Addiction’s Child

Is it naiveté
this nurturing impulse?

I am a product of genetics
a force dictating flaws

Railing against depression
trending towards light

I exert positivity
borrow bravery

Am odd, I agree
but what is real?

Addiction affects us all
violates progress

My loyalty, intrinsically
tied to abuse, know only chaos.

(Image my own)

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Fallen From Grace

The proverbial can has exploded –
transparency of our deceit now lies
like swarms of glass snakes writhing
at our feet – litany of hissing truths

Bent on keeping innocence alive,
I strategically attempt avoidance,
point to wealth, abundance, nurture
focus … the onslaught continues.

Slivers of slime, maggot-like hoards
mobilize – a sea of protestation,
I, overwhelmed by filth and disgust
encroaching on my sanity, helpless.

Familiarity colours the devastation –
have witnessed it before, watched
as my mother bit into the same
serpent-defiled apple…turned away.

There are no barriers to block out
the vile beasts, no refuge for broken
souls, whose lives, twisted in denial,
have mercilessly fallen to betrayal.

(Fallen From Grace was written in January, 2016. Image my own)

(This is an edited version of an earlier poem from 2016. Image my own)

The Photo Album

Adolescence doesn’t wear a smile
in our old photo album –
stares fixated on unseen lint –
distracted, we three sisters,
all reeling from the cold,
unwell, immobilized…

What is absent is the photographer
whose pointed directions critique
each decision – a derisive repetition
that eats at our souls, each girl
wrestling with self-nurture vs
self-annihilation, landing somewhere
in between – mannequin targets
for male abuse…

Oh, I tried to take up arms, rail against
the dominance, the oppression, but
only succeeded in settling for disconnection,
while one sister turned tricks for attention,
the other retreated into full dependency,
her madness, out of date, nevertheless
relevant – despite our tormenter’s death,
the images are permanently recorded
in that old photo album.

Perfect

I’m being a good girl, Dad
Staying out of sight
Keeping my needs to a minimum
Promise I don’t cry, Dad.

I’m being a good wife, Dad
Cooking all his favourites
Letting him walk ahead
Never uttering a peep, Dad

I’m a perfect background wife, Dad
Just like you taught me; just like Mom
Only no one has to hit me to make me
behave, Dad; I learned it good from you.

(Image my own)

End Suffocation

Too much black
Too much colour;
Fashion out of sync

Too many calories
Extra weight a turnoff
Comparisons cut deep

Stay close;
Stop being anti-social;
Friendliness invites abuse

Children need their mother
How do you plan to pay?
Better find a job.

Never enough
Beaten by criticism
A lonely marriage

Control suffocates
Narcissism cares not
Road is dead-end

Break free
Take the leap
True love begins with self.

(Image my own)

Sisterly Love

It’s just a moth, I offered
that blue moon night
rattling windows
chafing nerves

We’d chosen exile –
sister and I – refuge
from family demons,
not ours to claim

Innocence borrows
responsibility – I bore
it like a badge;
she shattered

Could not discriminate
darkness from her own
inner light – sought
to end the fury

I’ll carry us both,
I murmured, too young
to recognize the magnitude –
altruism destined to fail.

She’s buried now
beneath the madness
her mind the moth
slamming against my pain.

(Image my own.)