The Enabler

 

I finished your science project
at school
making the volcano
out of red paper-mâché
because it wasn’t worth
arguing about,
I left for work
and let you sleep all day,
school became optional. 
 
I wondered how you got all that money
for video games, cigarettes and new sneakers.
 
When you were older
I told your boss you were sick
when you were hung over.
I picked you up at the hospital
after the cops found you
on 72nd street
passed out, 
people walking around you
like a pile of old clothes.
I gave you one more chance 
and one more
another 
one more.
 
I had a rope I was clinging to 
and I reached the end,
there was no rope
but I kept clinging. 
I paid money for detox
rehab,
insurance,
weeks in the wilderness,
for flights to new beginnings
(some with ocean views).
I let you swear
break things
take things
fake things
and I said not again
and it happened
again.
I blamed myself:
a mountain of reproach
rose before me. 
I prayed for change
and I changed
one hard thing at a time,
one hard obsidian rock
sliced
painful as skin
sliced off.
 
I used the mallet
of anger
the hammer 
of fear
of hurt
and at the end
I was left
with this fine powder
of sadness.