Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

Mother

Raud Kennedy


At dinner
at her daughter’s house,
she forces a smile,
but her darting eyes
give her away.
Her skin is screaming,
her eyes itching.
With a hot flash
of adrenaline,
the leading trail of detox
washes over her.
She needs her wine,
but she can’t drink
around her ex-husband.
He told her
they were both alcoholics,
and now she must feign
she’s not.
But it’s beyond that.
Everyone sees the nerve
damage,
the awkward walking,
the poor balance, drunk or sober.
She avoids
social affairs unless
there’s wine
available
and she’s accompanied
by others who won’t say
anything
about her drinking
because they don’t want
anyone to say
anything
about their own.
When dinner
is over
she leaves
abruptly,
and her anxiety
wanes
now that her first sip
of wine
is just a short trip
away
and she wishes
she could’ve stayed
longer.

***

Raud Kennedy, currently living in Portland, Oregon, has had poems published in the States, England, and Scotland.

© Raud Kennedy

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2012