Dear Father

Dear Father
Oh Father,
I see you pour that drink, your chosen elixir
Just one more you say,
as your hands tremble on the bottle.
Military special, pure amber whiskey
But this is no self love
It’s self destruction
enabled with love
Do you remember when
you forgot the world
So enraptured in your drink
You forgot to pay the mortgage?
Every time I rode with you,
I looked for the opaque 7up glass
Filled with iced amber liquid
and prayed police would look the other way.
I never remember a time
when your glass wasn’t full.
Oh, you’d promise an empty glass
innumerable times.
Do you remember when
you ran into the coast guard
And my 17 yr old self
had to pick you up from jail?
Then it was mandatory AA meetings
and a pledge to cut back,
but that only lasted
for just a little while.
Even when the cancer consumed your body
The cravings demanded answer
So one of us would
hold the glass to your lips.
I don’t know what was worse for you
The cancer or the addiction
Both all consuming
and deadly
Oh Father,
Even though you’re gone,
I hope you know that you were loved
despite your horrible illness
You were never your addiction
Even though it was a part of you,
We remember the steadfast person,
And will forever cherish those memories

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