From the archives – The Confession — Marc Massari

The Confession

I’ve watched an alcoholic walk a tightrope through the house
to see if she would stumble. I was glad
to dream a bit of mischief, then release it like a mouse,
stand back and watch the elephants go mad,

satisfied the chaos would upset her. When she fell
without her family’s sympathetic net
to catch her, I looked down where she lay paralyzed in hell
and said, “I hope you drink yourself to death.”

It was in retribution for the time when I was small
and she, a star so massive her collapse
dragged me through oblivion, for though I can’t recall
each day that passed, I know I spent them trapped

in her disaster. Now, I find I can’t believe
the state she’s in. I visit her, ashamed
of who my mother is, it’s true, but mostly I’m relieved
because I know she doesn’t realize who I am.

by Marc Massari

from Autumn Sky Poetry Number 20, January 2011

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim