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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Waiting for Saint Jude

She hands her son pills
watches him swallow
drugs to scare him sober
moves to the sink parks the glass
resumes peeling, chopping eggs
stares blindly across the marsh
rubs a paper towel
across her face blows her nose.

Snuffles, throat-clearing sounds
spin her around to offer
comfort, toast cooked in a
black skillet dancing with butter.

She sits, smokes coffee untouched
watches for tremors as he
forks food into his mouth
washes it down with juice.
His knees agitate as
he works his heels against
the kitchen floor.

He gags bolts for the sink
vomits, rinses it clean
She digs in her purse for pills
quickly checks the lock on the bar.

Jaw set, she refills
his glass, hands him
another dose of Antabuse.

Outside the dog stretches
in a patch of sunlight.
Marsh hens clack, Redwings caw
clouds drift on a spring breeze.
She recalls a time
when alcohol was
for swimmer’s ear and
egg salad and pan toast
could cure all ills.

© 2010 cj Schlottman
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