I Will Know… | A Poem

Image © Ed Isaacs Dreamstime

Image © Ed Isaacs  Dreamstime

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…

9 Comments on “I Will Know… | A Poem

  1. Every day I count my blessings that my 18 year old is not like I was when I was 18. Maybe he will be more like the grown up ‘sensible’ me.


  2. Too true, Ali, even if not of you personally. Fortunately not for you personally! I was just wondering about this the other day in a very different context of details, whether as children who inherit patterns of whatever kind that have haunted our families for generations we can end the cycle and move on and heal, or whether genetic and childhood memories are too strong. So far I just hope the former is true and the latter false, try for the best, be aware as possible you know? Perhaps all of us are born with some story or other that’s gone on too long and doesn’t serve anyone, and it would be awesome to be the one to end it finally, at least for anyone coming after, I mean being born after, us. 🙂


    • Yes… strange how children grow to repeat the negative actions of their parents. You would think they would be determined not to. Maybe its pre-destined, a chain thats very hard to break…


    • Yeah… it always made me wonder why children follow in their parents footsteps after growing up in such hostile environments instead of becoming determined to do the opposite.


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