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


3 responses to “From the archives – The Confession — Marc Massari”

  1. 2mybox Avatar

    The images are vivid and chilling. A strong poem.

  2. Amy Corlew Avatar
    Amy Corlew

    Powerful. Vulnerable.. this will sit with me all day!

  3. Richard Sund Avatar
    Richard Sund

    A sad but good poem. Having been a Psych.Crisis ER RN for 30 years, I have concluded that years from now, ” Alcoholism ” will be a treated disease,which I am convinced it is. I don’t call humans with Schizophrenia, ” Schizophrenics “. ” Oh, she or he is a drunk or alcoholic ” Shaming. I met hundreds and hundreds of patients with many psychiatric diseases, and alcoholism is one. But, I know also how painful it is to have a family member with alcoholism.

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