It Stays In The Family


When I was a little kid
I heard of the horrors
Of people defeated
By substance abuse and drugs
And when I got older
I didn’t see how it could affect me

My father was who I wanted to be
My Idol
My hero
But age and time change


Twice quit
Three times tried
My father was entranced
By that clean white line
Hiding the reflection of his eyes
Because as age progressed
And mortality seeped its way into his consciousness
Fear gripped his heart
Harder than his desire
To teach his blood right from wrong
And Good from bad

When Midlife hit him he caved
And following a wife who was a baby when he graduated
And a scene full of young adults
Who looked up to this grown self made man
As though he had the answers
Swelling his ego far larger than it should have
He partied
And he learned how to party harder
And Longer
And BETTER than those of youth
And when he hit his limit
A man he knew came up to him
And under the haze of intoxication
My father claims that the one shots too many
Made him an offer he couldn’t refuse
An offer to tell him his one too many were many too few
And a pinky full
Of white powder
Would leave his muddled mind
Feeling cleaner than Oxyclean
That he could keep lying to himself
Saying he was young
And his four children at home
Some hardly larger than tikes
Wouldn’t need his presence and wouldn’t need his guidance
and couldn't need those more than he needed to prove to himself
That he wasn’t going to die tomorrow
And youth was nothing he would lose
Just because time kept moving

But we needed him

And so his guilty pleasure consumed him
Consumed his love
his Life
his love-life.
And one night,
After the whore of a step-mother
A heartless woman my father helped to craft
Left him for a man she’d been sharing sheets with
While she refused to accept his touch

He crumbled


And that day my world turned upside down
White was Black
Grey was everywhere
And I hit the ground with my trembling fists
Screaming out the betrayal
In my bedroom while my father cried at the kitchen table
Over all he had lost
Because he decided to be selfish for once in his life

I gathered myself
Tear streams like the Western Front carved into my face
Walked to him
Showed him my bleeding heart
His betrayal of the family and his
Usage has caused
And expressed my love for him

He bawled
And together my brother and I supported him
While we weather’d the hurricane of his emotions
For the following year
Before he became a severe
Tropical Depression

To live in constant fear
Of coming home
From a school you can’t focus at
Because you’re worried
Of coming home from a school you can’t focus at
To find your father dead on the ground
Whatever money he had in his wallet thrown on your couch
And a suicide letter
I wasn’t supposed to know about
As the last thing he gave me
Is a feeling you have to experience
To understand

I still have the suicide letter
Snug under my printer
A constant reminder
Of what I almost lost

Of what drugs do to a family

And that some things
Should just stay

In the Family



I love this

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