And They Say, Poor Woman

I don’t know why I drink.
For the way it makes me feel I guess –
like so maybe
the bad things don’t feel like they are all my fault.

So that if I hurt you, I will remember it fuzzy-like.
Like maybe you had asked for it;
or perhaps my actions were justified
in the way people instinctively realize that
a poor, tired, worn-out mother can only
take so much, and then somehow they are excused for their missteps.

We all make mistakes, you know… we all do. Even you.

Oh, and I’ve made so many!
Big ones.
I had an abortion, did I tell you that?
Of course, I did.
Fine. I was 18.
Stupid girl.

Stupidest selfish thing I ever did.
I could have had that baby, but I wanted my life.
I could have had it and being a big girl and taken care of my business.
Coulda been a waitress; sucked it up, asked for help.

But no. I didn’t do that.
At the time, I felt I deserved more than that.
The truth is I didn’t deserve Shit.

I think that’s why I drink.
Because I took more than my share.
I didn’t pay back the Karma.
I didn’t drink the Koolaid, or maybe I did; whatever.

It doesn’t matter now, I’m looking straight down the barrel of death.
Grim Reaper knows I owe; God knows too. That’s why He keeps it all locked up when I come
knocking.
I got Hep. Some kinda hep.

Baby haunts me, you know.
She woulda been 26.
You woulda had a sister, imagine that.
It’s so hard for me to be nice to you
because when I look in your eyes
I see that baby, like a little tadpole;
getting swirled down a drain, over and over.
A tadpole body with big baby eyes
and a little round cupid bow baby-mouth, crying

Mamma, mamma!
While the water rolls over her face and it washes her into the
eddy, down the hole, circular, figure-eights, whoosh!
Then gone.
Up the vacuum, down the toilet.
Who knows where they go.

I drink because it’s easier than having failed at being successful.
I’m good at being a failure.
I drink because I am a sad story and its a better story
then the one where I might have pulled my life together.

Poor her, they say, poor woman.
Lost her man to a young hussy;
lost her job,
lost her babies to drugs,
and the drinking
and the crazies, Shit.
Seems I couldn’t keep a hold on any of y’all.

So, here I am. Old and ugly. Jaded as hell.
But I got my
cigarette to blow away the jitters,
beer to silence the tadpole baby,
vodka to tear my hands free from your shoulders
as I shake you and say:

Don’t be like me, son, don’t be like me! Then if I have to, a bit of
coke, meth, or whatever
to make sure it all goes away.

To call God.
To call the Reaper.

Photo Credit: goldsardine Flickr via Compfight cc


Elisabeth Horan

Elisabeth Horan is a poet mother student lover of kind people and animals, homesteading in Vermont with her tolerant partner and two young sons. She writes to survive and survives to write - We are all battling something. Let's support each other. Elisabeth enjoys riding horses and caring for her cats, chickens, goats and children (not necessarily in that order). She teaches at River Valley Community College in New Hampshire.

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