She was out of town…
Away and far aflung and it was the Summer–
The new plague ran rampant across the land of fear;
And I went back to the playpen of denial I her absence….
Free to be a child again to “deal” with the fear–
…and tuning out the world.
For a whole month I lived alone in a limbo of binging;
Both in paralyzed observation of an electric box and inane nonsense
And in tranquilized non-existence as I faced an empty tomb of a house.
It closed around me like the tentacles
Of Lovecraft’s Elder Gods
And began it’s slow crush of my soul…
I mastered “Hide and Seek” that Summer;
She would call and I would snap out of my stupor and Hide…
While she sought the affection and connection with a husband
And craved it so inside.
He wasn’t there, both in body, but more than that…
In any kind of spirit or devotion. Only to the numbness was he loyal.
I also mastered “Chutes and Ladders” with the kids I was to protect..
As they saw me climb high to make sure each day they had their needs met and given;
While at night I had MY needs slide down the Chutes, “WHOOPEE!” into a drunken abyss;
Then–“Hey son,” I said….after riding the chute too hard;
“Does this look bad—I slipped”. Wiping the blood pouring from my eye.
Remembrance is gone for anything else
Other than for shame;
Other than his humiliation…
That he bore his drunk dad’s name;
That he had to drag his toddler of a father
To the hospital for his coronation;
Of 21 stitches—and a diaper change for the occasion.
“It was just an accident” I lied…
Ask my mask fell off filled with blood;
And tears—and regret-and selfishness…
And as I watched him hang his head, observing me in the chair of honor;
Getting sewn up—I wanted to die.
Forgiveness is a long word…and an even longer time.
Repentance is just as long; and sacrifices time.
Deceit is a much shorter word
But cuts like the sharpest knife;
Especially when your children, who you protect
In turn have to save your life…