Like an ace in my pocket step one is the beginning and end of my step work. This step carries the high and low count; its rise is so near to the ground I didn’t have to lift my chin to clear it as I crawled my way in here, its appeal so exalted that it is all I hear when I finish the twelfth and am on my way back around. The high and low of any hand plus the card I keep up my sleeve for emergencies. The greatest blessing is I don’t need four of a kind, not even a pair; as long as I have step one I am guaranteed a full house, full heart, full life and between you and me that’s just how I like it.
Lick your lips then smile
I push shame around my plate like a chunk of spoiled meat.
The toxins leaching to every interface and cavity
With an inverse half-life, the lethal substance grows
Reinforcing and sending runners and tendrils
To worlds known and those yet undiscovered.
I wage my war on this shapehifting plaque.
Thrust and parry, I step back from the unsurmountable walls
And set my sights on tearing down the bunkers
In my personal city.
Like lead plumbing
The danger eludes the observation of my fellow citizens
I am labeled a lunatic
And no attention is paid to my evaluation of water quality.
I search for similarly crazed friends
Variants within a theme.
I depend on the poisoned sanity of my wounded compatriots.
We shovel the plate loads of spoiled meat and detritus.
The foreshortened mountain of shame
Allows tiny strands of light to glimmer across the surface
But the shamed devotees turn their heads.
We, the few, face the glowering mass.
I worry like a petulant child.
What if we cannot prevail?
Is shame stronger then recovery?
Have we traveled this far to miss the glaciers edge?
As it slides away from us
I console myself with the sure knowledge that,
This life of sobriety is better than any other offering
Healing the world, What a lovely thought.
Living free from shame today, what a necessity.
You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault