You Drank Yourself Dry


I am older now,
yet you arrive in my heart
like a clenching fist,
intruding upon my life by dying so far away.

The details of the detritus
of your life
are both mundane and appalling.
I look at the train wreck
you made of your life,
swearing to never follow
the path you have taken.

Now is not the time to remember the beatings,
the police at the door looking for you,
the multiple wives with no divorces,
or the booze-fueled rampages.
Now is not the time to recall how you left
walking away from us as if we burdened.

The woman you broke,
who deserved to hate you
much more than I hated you,
insisted now was the time to find
something of value
I had gotten from you,
in order to let you go.

Not the double chin,
not the Irish temper
and certainly not the choice to lie.

Then I recalled the stories,
the after-dinner readings,
goofy voices and all,
that sparked a child’s imagination
and crafted a dreamer in his place.

Thank you for that.

Now that you are gone,
I look at the steamy mirror
and no longer recoil at seeing you there.

This poem appeared in the chapbook "Grief Tattoos" - get it for the Kindle HERE

©2014 Christopher Reilley

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