BELOVED MOTHER

 

BELOVED MOTHER

Dear beloved mother, I hope you’re doing well
Enjoying cocktail hour in your hotel room in hell.
Frankly it’s a miracle that I have survived
So pardon me if I don’t care when or where you died.

Your own mother, she too liked the booze 
Two drunks under one roof, children gonna lose.
I grew up too fast, my sister couldn’t cope,
I became a robot, she just gave up hope.

When I was a young boy, you said I was too fat-
How is a 10-year old supposed to deal with that?
Have spent my whole life pushing, pursuing sport extreme.
It’s never been enough; I’m still devoid of self- esteem.

No booze on your breath, vodka your disguise, 
You refused to listen to your children’s cries.
No booze on your breath, vodka your disguise,
Two alcoholics telling each other lies.
No booze on your breath, vodka your disguise,
Self loathing of a drunkard  her son did stigmatise.

The martinet that was you, obsessed with etiquette
Put books under our armpits; like soldiers we would sit.
Not even God could save us if a book fell to the floor:
A hard slap to the cheekbone, impertinence underscored.

If we weren’t hungry or couldn’t finish a meal, 
That was the beginning of a torturous ordeal.
The food stayed on the table until we’d finally eat
Even if after three days there was mold on the meat.

At church on Sunday mornings, we played out a charade,
Holding hands and smiling, we walked as on parade.
Of her well-dressed family, perfect mother was so proud.
We inside were dying, but couldn’t cry out loud.

No booze on your breath, vodka your disguise,
Even at the dinner table, you terrorised.
No booze on your breath, vodka your disguise,
The simple thought of eating left us petrified.
No booze on your breath, vodka your disguise, 
For deception of the public, you always won first prize.

Even at nighttime cringing in our beds,
There were no dreams of unicorns drifting through our heads.
Here came beloved mother brandishing her belt,
Before school every morning- make-up on every welt.

My loving little sister could never break free
Positioned where she was on the family tree.
Father old and absent after the divorce,
I was off at school- things would only get worse.
After school she’d find you, snoring drunken in the bath; 
Her friends never visiting was the aftermath.
So abused and alone, sister heeded the call:
As time went on she included drugs with HER alcohol.

No booze on your breath, vodka your disguise,
Physical abuse became normalised .
No booze on your breath, vodka your disguise,
Sister’s wide-eyed innocence completely brutalised.
No booze on your breath, vodka your disguise
Sister’s wide-eyed innocence completely brutalised.

I am not yet finished, there’s more I have to say.
Hope that you are listening as against you I inveigh.
As I become an old man, only now I realise 
How much that we were cursed, coming from your thighs.
Your deviant behaviour had alcohol as its source
But never in 20 years did you once express remorse.
You built a wall around your heart, anaesthetised your brain;
Self-protection was your goal despite your children’s pain.

I am not a drinker--- that’s absolutely true.
All efforts notwithstanding, I still ended up like you.
My mind is always racing, I don’t want time to feel;
I’m mechanical, robotic, all emotions I conceal.
We’re supposed to show compassion, over this I agonise:
I forgive but can’t forget- it’s still you whom I despise.
I understand the dynamic and that I’m not to blame
But having failed to overcome, I’ll always feel ashamed.

No booze on your breath, vodka your disguise,
Children follow parents: Alcohol’s reprise.
No booze on your breath, vodka your disguise,
Children follow parents: Alcohol’s reprise.
No booze on your breath, vodka your disguise,
Children follow parents: Alcohol’s reprise.

 

This poem is about: 
Me
My family

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