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Family Traits Packed in a Bottle


Author: Kristen C.

When her father was drunk, he’d say ‘I used to have a brother, you know’,
He got faraway look in his eyes, a memory forming in the clouds,
His hands would open and close, tightening as his breath grew swallow,
Cruel thoughts manifesting at the bottom of his scotch,
But he’d smile again a minute later and the memory was gone,
Along with the uncle she wish she never knew she had.
When her mother was drunk, she would stumble and fall,
Tripping over more than her words, but,
Her smile was never as bright as when she was half way through the bottle of wine,
And her eyes held a shine that would never see the light of day,
But morning would always come, and with it the shameful dissonance.
Her mother always hides the bruises and broken glasses well.
She had never known the effects of the drink until later in her life,
For she had seen what could happen when a pain that deep ran in the family,
But she has come to understand the appeal of a drunken stupor,
Reality always made much more sense when her world was spinning.
When she drinks, she drinks to remember, to forget
It depends on the night in question,
Sometimes it’s to remember her mothers smile, or forget the haunted look in her eyes in the morning rays,
Or she drinks to forget the secrets she wished her father never spilled,
Drinks to forget the reality she helped create.
She knows the harmful effects of addiction to the bottle,
But she knows she cannot function without it; family traits and all,
Yet there is power every time she spills the bottle down the sink,
But she clings to the drops as though they hold a dying prayer,
She hates living on a silent scream, but she still she prays
Asking those above to save her from the same path as those before her.

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