I love the flowers in my garden. Their upkeep is my solemn trust. With my shears, I must cut, clear and swift, the runners that detract from their health and structure. When fruiting is heavy, I must spare the stalk and choose what stays and what needs to be taken. I am scrupulous in my observation of form and function. The bucolic scene thrives; the pageant of color sweeps the rows. I bend to nurture and stretch to prune. I pay over-much attention to the plucking and forget I need to bring the blooms home.
Allow a dark worldview to illuminate a lightness of spirit.
My alcoholism was anonymous
even while I was active.
My destruction was internal,
outside evidence kept to a minimum.
It is easy to understand why so many
from my past as well as my present
are shocked to see me a member
in good standing for a club they never saw
me pay the price to join.
But cost doesn’t always advertise in the public square.
I know the score, the numbers etched upon my soul.
I need to be well even if you didn’t know, I am sick.
I take the medicine;
offer a smile to those who think it prophylactic
and keep upon my path.
Just because you didn’t know the contents of my bottle
doesn’t mean I didn’t earn the tag on my tea.
You are reading selections from Sober on the Way to Sane and More Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault