Some people crave freedom.
Not American-flag freedom, but
the type that grants you
Those people that know
how to drop everything without regret.
When I was a boy,
I never remember her picking me up,
though I know she tried to lift my spirits
with indulgences and
the types of things that make you feel guilty.
I still remember warm Kentucky nights when,
with a six-pack for dessert,
she would treat me to ice cream
well past my bedtime.
(It’s easier to relieve the guilt
when you have a willing accomplice.)
Her fault lines made her magnetic,
the same force that pulls you in
is the one that forces you out.
She was a tornado you couldn’t stop,
She was the beer after 12 years of rehab;
She was exactly what you hated to love.
I referred to her in past tense long before she was gone.
Her passing on from this life was proof
that sometimes heartbreak isn’t the worst to come.
Because the answers to my grief lay
at the bottom of the last bottle she held.
Her last day will always be a mystery;
she became a story with no conclusion.
We like to have someone to blame
for the armor we put on in the morning.
You stand in front of the mirror and realize
you look just like your mother,
even in some of the laugh lines she created.
But I won’t let myself off that easy.
I can’t spend every day chained to my bed,
avoiding every reflection,
feeling trapped by the error of my ways.
Some days I’m harder to convince
and some days I can dance in the rain.
Every storm that bears rain
can also bring new life.
Perhaps some day, I won’t have to remind myself.
I’ll never be able to leave this world
choking down the same reasons she found
it’s better not to stay.
Stay, I tell myself.