Crawling into the Bottle


I watched as you beat him
Until he was black and blue.
And then, it happened;
He finally left you.

I can't blame him.

He escaped your rage,
Your violent antics,
A day-to-day promise
Of ill-gotten blessings.

Lucky him.

But he left me in the forefront, and
Now his problems are mine.

Some father he is…

Shattered glass,
Crushed aluminum;
Bottles and cans.
The only memories
Of my childhood.

Pleasant, isn't it?

Angry fists,
Searing words—

My day-to-day life.

Then, you'd pass out.
And I'd get my reprieve
Until nightfall sought you out,
Shattering my peace.
Replacing it with shouts
Of how I'm never good enough;
How I'll amount to nothing.

Kind of like you, huh?

I compliantly listen to you,
Waiting for your breath to catch.
Yet, my silence only warrants pain.

Not unlike anything else I do, really.

So, you resume your favorite past time
Of blaming everything on me:
I'm the reason dad left,
I'm the reason we're broke—

I'm always the reason.

I take your hits one by one,
Counting silently in my head,
Wondering if you'll break your record,
And waiting for you to stop.
Then you do; and it's always the same.

Go figure.

You cry and sob,

Because one of us has to.

And tell me you're sorry;
Sorry enough to stop drinking.

Like I haven't heard it before.

It's always the same.
And when you're done,


You crawl back into the bottle.


L. Kantenseter