My apologies in advance for another intense poem. I’ll try to lighten things up tomorrow.
The tinkle of ice in a glass might sound like I’m recreating the scene
except I know in the end she stopped bothering with niceties like ice and glasses.
In the end, the only thing that mattered was the fastest escape route.
Did she stay up as late and as guiltily as I do?
Did she use the same excuses the next day?
Am I her, somehow? Do I inflict the same damage,
the damage her son never admitted to sustaining?
Are we similarly unreliable or did she hold it together better than I can?
Yes and no.
Exhibit A: another son, the one with fetal alcohol syndrome.
Exhibit B: the bottomless pit of need, of never-enough, in all her children.
Exhibit C, D, E: the broken hip, the DTs in the hospital,
her husband’s denial that she ever drank.
And yet here I am with ice in a glass pouring my amber escape.