I used to sit up high perched on daddy’s shoulders
watching the world go by, I wonder
will I grow up to be as tall and strong as daddy?
One minute, he’s my hero, fighting off the villains
with his crinkly weathered hands,
the next he comes crashing down with nothing left
but that bottle in his hands.
Crouching behind tables and chairs are the best I can do
A 4 year old trapped in a living war zone, mommy and daddy can’t quit fighting.
Split down the middle, which side to pick? I’m more than an
object to dispute, I am a living being.
A soul with feelings, forced to choose between the 2 people
who have ever showed me what it’s like to be loved.
Family affection split up by the aroma of whiskey bottles and late nights.
Little baby is growing up, middle school years are
flying by, and she wishes you were here more. But you’re
too busy putting that flask to your lips. I can’t understand.
I’m here, daddy. Please, stop. But the more I scream,
the more the liquor drops down your throat.
But as you drown in your sorrow, I rise above
Because I once sat high on your shoulders and knew there was more than this.
No longer that little girl, almost off to college
Holidays and weekends are our only meeting times.
Conversations filled with “how have you beens” and “fine,
thanks yous” but isn’t there more? Could this be it?
I have faced my own problems and opportunities to drink
but do you really think that I could easily forget
how high we both stood, now there’s only one of us left standing.