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literature

The Change

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By monstroooo
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They used to go ice skating.
Indoors under summer sun;
Outdoors under silent snow:
She used to lead him by the hand -
But that was long ago.

They used to laugh for hours.
He would make up stories
And she would play along:
But when it came to their story
The ending worked out wrong.

They used to drink together,
One or two under the moon.
But with the baby’s arrival
Something snapped,
And turned his drinking suicidal.

They used to dine together
Candlelight and wine,
Rib-eye and t-bone.
But he drowned out his appetite
And left her to eat alone.

They used to travel the world
But he began catch at the bars.
So she would take their daughter
To build sandcastles,
And return to find him a little smaller.

She could feel him slipping away,
As the whiskey started to win
And the drink started to tell.
Change came sure as the tide
And it left him but a shell.

They used to talk about the change
And he ramble speak incoherent
About the pressures of a man.
And she would do her best to listen,
But she just could not understand.

Sometimes she tries to pinpoint
The precise moment she lost him:
But the truth eludes her
Like dignity eludes the drunk,
And he just drinks himself deeper.

He grew gaunt and hollow by day
And wholly absent by night,
Oblivious by the danger.
And in their growing daughter’s eyes
He became but a stranger.

And in the very darkest nights,
She would harbour secret wishes
Which she could not unwish
And she would hate herself
For what she might unleash.

They used to love each other,
And maybe he always did
And maybe she still does.
But love isn’t always enough,
Maybe sometimes it’s too much.

They used to go ice skating.
Indoors under summer sun;
Outdoors under silent snow:
She used to lead him by the hand -
But that was long ago.
This is a poem about how alcohol can change people and destroy relationships. It's not written to be about physical or emotional abuse, particularly. There are plenty of awful stories about that around and frankly, I don't think those are mine to tell. The story I want to share is more about the subtle changes which can twist a person inward until they are unrecognisable. I draw a lot from my family's story here - but also from speaking with friends, and people I meet at shows.

I will performing this, and 12.5 other poems about drink and drinking, at my Brighton Fringe show in May 2018.
Published:
© 2018 - 2020 monstroooo
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xlntwtch's avatar
xlntwtch Writer
:wave: Hi, stro- Good to see a new piece by you; at least it's new to me. And it seems very accurate. And very good.
I'll try to listen to you perform in May. Do you have a specific date for it yet?
monstroooo's avatar
monstrooooProfessional Writer
Hey LJ! How nice to hear from you :)

Yes, this is brand spanking new. Well, maybe a month old. I'll be performing each night from the 5th to 13th May - although I don't have any plans to stream it as yet :(
xlntwtch's avatar
xlntwtch Writer
Hey!

Since you're not planning to stream your performance, I guess I just have to read it aloud in a more entertaining way here. :giggle: