Strikethrough: A Dirge for Acquaintances No Longer Plagued by Addiction

I rarely have cause to feel sad,
if you want to know the truth,
but I’m down today, way down
in the blue deeps with thoughts
as bleak as the tempestuous sky.

Ponderous clouds in endless shades
of gray track as slowly across
the sky as passersby shuffle along
the rain-slick street, shoulders
slumped and feet shuffling.

Everyone’s an Atlas bowed by the world.

I’m binging on Mandolin Orange
this morning, a folk/Americana duo
from North Carolina to whom I urge
you to listen when your heart needs
to break and you’re unwilling to let it.

And I’m compiling my monthly stats,
adding two more names to the list,
people I know knew who succumbed
to fatal habits, who lacked the strength
or will to quit on their own.

One was a lovely young mother of two
precious little girls, the other, some
years older, left a husband and two
teens bereft and unmoored.  Two more
who’ll go unmourned by the world at large

leave me once more feeling



I’m not even listening to the lyrics,
but every song is in a minor key,
and the singers’ voices haunt me in
melancholy harmony.  And I can’t
help but wonder who will sing the songs
of the ones taken too soon.

35 37 in the past three years, and
that’s only the ones I’ve learned of
through dumb luck.  Word of mouth, or a
periodic random obituary search. Phone
calls from devastated kin the worst.

Don’t worry for me, but spare a thought
for them if you will.  In fact, I’ll be fine.
I’ll be here tomorrow doing what little
I can to prevent the next one.  And I’ll
do it every day ‘til they take me away.

And, tissue near to hand, I’ll tell their
stories and I’ll sing their songs.

I’ll carve their names on the heart of the world.

Via Word of the Day Challenge for 9/10/18, Tempestuous.

Special thanks to Kristian at Tales from the Mind of Kristian for bringing the WotDC to my attention.

12 thoughts on “Strikethrough: A Dirge for Acquaintances No Longer Plagued by Addiction

  1. ❤ Usually, when someone starts to talk about addiction, it's some kind of rant or denial.

    Your poem is the truth. It's just f*&%ing sad. I got through my brother's with NIN "Hurt"

    If I could start again
    A million miles away
    I will keep myself
    I would find a way

    Liked by 1 person

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