For my husband, a poem which rhymes. Please note; this poem is based on my imagination, not my real life…
As a child I knew much more than adults gave me credit for. Even at the age of three it was not difficult to see the endless lies and heavy despair due to Mum's drinking and Dad's affair.
Every night I heard them shout,
knowing what it was all about.
In their room, behind closed doors,
thinking they shut out the shrieks and roars.
Whatever must the neighbours have thought?
I don’t remember, though perhaps I ought.
I was only a child; what could I do?
Perhaps no one ever knew
what went on inside our house,
for I never told, being quiet as a mouse.
The tales never escaped my parents’ lips
when they left the house on their secretive trips.
What private trysts did they keep?
Did words of love from their hearts drip-seep?
Yet they never divorced;
Perhaps the marriage was forced
to tie them infinitely together,
whatever the internal, marital weather.
The scandal of separation would have picked clean their bones
in a neighbourhood where one must keep up with the Jones.
Seems reputation was never considered, when they
met with their lovers each drab, dreary day.
And so with this hypocrisy I grew up,
and now I drink from the self-same cup.
My wife’s love is no longer mine
so I drown my sorrow in cheap bottles of wine.
At night I hear my children cry to sleep
as I lie in bed, brain alcohol-fuddled deep.
I vaguely hear my wife’s accusations
and respond through a dizzy numb drunken sensation.
Now I know how my parents must have felt,
and accept readily the blow fate has dealt.
Is it true that children take after their parents before them?
Perhaps when my children mature, I will know then…