Wednesday, February 06, 2013

buy your own flowers

and when you think things won’t get  worse,
that things have turned a corner,
and while it’s not rosy,
at least it’s not hell anymore,
and you dare to hope that there could be a future.

that night when you’d expect to be in bed
you are driving quickly to emergency
you are driving your child
your child with the belly full of pills
and you’re hoping you get there before
it kills his liver, before
it kills him
and in your pajama bottoms you walk determinedly past people
and go to the head of the line
(how very un-Canadian of you)
and you say in a loud clear voice your son has overdosed
and you hand them the bottle
then it’s all motion, and follow me
and take off your clothes and pee in this cup
needles for blood, needles for IVs, stickers for electrodes
monitors and carts with medications
speedy doctors and nurses all talking at once
and you sit, in your pajama pants, and text his father, because
his father who was too fucking upset to do anything useful, because
his father couldn’t even manage to put on his own damn shoes
so, you’re in charge, again
you’re the one who copes, again
the one who holds the family together, again
it’s not that you mind, but
wait, you do mind, you mind a lot
you’re tired, and you’re alone and watching the speedy medical staff
and you have to answer his irritating questions with text messages

later, when it seems your son won’t die tonight,
you go home and talk down his father who is ‘very upset’
and ‘needs to vent’ and likes to
‘process his frustrations out loud’, to you, because he can’t talk to anyone else
and what the hell is he going to tell his family
(don’t answer that)

and when you finally say fuck it and go to bed
3 hours before you get up for work, and
you lay your clothes out on the floor, just in case,
just, in case the hospital calls and you have to rush back
because actually he is going to die tonight
but he doesn’t
so you go to work the next day and do the only thing you can think to do
is write a fucking poem
because that fixes everything
because you sure can’t talk to people about the latest and greatest Swirling Shit Storm
your family is going through

Here are the Swirling Shit Storm Rules:

your son goes to rehab,
no one notices
you drive 700miles a week,
you leave your daughters to fend for themselves
no one notices

your son overdoses,
no one wants to talk to you
your daughters are so tired they don’t want to talk to you
you buy your daughters ice cream and teddy bears and chocolate
but that fixes nothing
their brother is still in the hospital
and they can’t talk about it
they don’t want to talk anymore about it

your son actually dies,
well then, everyone wants to talk
people send you flowers
and bring food
and love, and there is a big get together
and everyone says nice things about your son,
about you, and they actually
talk to you and your daughters
and his father can vent to someone other than you

and there’s the rub,
until your son actually dies,
there’s no one to talk to
you’re buying the fucking flowers for yourself
and the fucking comfort food for your daughters
and talking his father, the fuck down, again,
and again
and again
because you're in this on your own
and you best just get used to it.

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