It’s easier to steal when you’re drunk.
Plan it out—before the haze has fully taken hold of you, and after
the first few drinks of the morning, so the guilt does not have edges.
You have no money (not even a dime – how did you get to this point?)
and the horror of withdrawal is not a dwelling you are ready to inhabit.
Slip the bottle into your purse. Large, for this purpose.
And for the fact it holds your worldly possessions.
Casually walk away. A scramble to a washroom,
(Starbucks, the staff are nice there) and fingers tremble as you
Undo the cap and tip the vodka up.
Burn to your throat, it claws down to your belly and
But this poem is not about theft. Nor drinking, for all that.
It is about now.
What you are left with when you leave the flight behind,
throw open the doors (gasping with terror and shame) to the world you had
Striven to outrun.
Your palms are empty, that gaping purse bereft of tools to carry
you through this Life.
A choice had to be made. You were faced with darkness and, bewilderingly
(What were you thinking? You were not ready.) You chose Light.
Dues must be paid.
Guilt takes a shape.
Everything hurts the eyes.
Shame, like a cat hunting comfort, trails in the back door while you bolt the front.
Pay for the past and still look forward. You didn’t expect this.
There are these splendours, perhaps small:
your child answers a phone, cities away, smiles in his words.
A friend reaches a hand and stills your shaking knee.
Wipes your tear.
You run, miles, sweat, muscles strained (a passion so neglected) and
your body sings.
These treasures every day and more! A book, a flower, a glass of ice cold water.
Blessings. They seem to pile up around you, everywhere you look.
Who are you? The drunk, the thief, the coward. These may be parts, dark corners within you.
You speak of these dark places all you can.
There are others who share these—you want them to know:
There is beauty afterwards. There is love, and light, and freedom.
Beyond the Darkness is a place, holy in its simplicity.
Choose this place, and call it Home.