Once I was looking for something
in her kitchen, my friend tells me, and I
found a full bottle of vodka. Another time,
an empty bottle. Deb insists she doesn’t drink.
Now she’s in the hospital because I found her
on her living room couch unable to breathe.
She’s overweight. She knows it, can’t do
anything about it. She seldom eats.
Or let’s say I’ve never seen her finish
a meal. She’s up and down, making sure
her husband has food, her kids. How about me?
you ask. She doesn’t seem to care for me, yet
I’m her mother. I know she’s struggled over the years
because she wasn’t thin like the other girls.
I even listened to her pleas and supported her
when she had an operation to shrink her stomach.
She was only twenty. It didn’t work.
You asked about her husband. Well, he plays
the guitar and he joined a band. He’s gone as often
as possible. Deb’s home alone with the boys.
Or simply alone because they don’t want to be
with her either. So what else is there but vodka?
She called me to take her home from de-tox and I told her
I couldn’t because I promised a friend a ride to the doctor.
She hung up on me! I’m the only one still talking
to her and she hangs up on me. She got an Uber
and arrived home to an empty house. No groceries.
No husband or sons. What can I do? What can I
possibly do? So you’re a poet, right? Make me a poem
that brings my daughter to me again.