The Morgue File

i cried daily
for years as you drank.
i cried until rivulets
permanently etched, north and south
along my mouth.

my heart, shriveled and dry
love's aftertaste
stamped on tongue and cheek.

the afternoon sun was hot against concrete
the day you slammed her against a wall
she was five and you,
you were drunk (again)
and it was that easy

you were gone a week later
a marriage dissolving
like so much ice
in vodka.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

A watershed moment for Poets United  mid-week motif


  1. What a visceral read this is, I could feel the impact of that child, and of the dissolution of the life led before from that moment. Wow, Audrey. Strong and brave, that he was gone from that moment, I wish my mother had been as strong.

  2. Ugh. A bit of a gut punch when you start beating on the kid - or slamming them against the wall.Yeah, time to move them on. You are worth more than that.

  3. Scary. Alcohol has ruined so many lives.

    A beautiful write on a very sad, continuing problem with the world.

  4. Whew, Audrey, this poem packs a powerful punch. Definitely more than one watershed moment here. It is good that you let it be known you would not take it any more & he & his alcohol were out the door!

  5. Ice in Vodka! Such a description of an abuser who HAD to melt away if not left behind. Once the child is hurt, the decision is easy for sure.

  6. This must have been the case is so many instances. A horrifically graphic piece of writing.

  7. This is so sad.. alcohol has ruined several households and married lives.. The image of ice in vodka is apt.

  8. Yes, I am sure that was a watershed moment, but I am glad for you it came...and you were released. It is too bad it takes so much! But you have written about it perfectly.

  9. I like that powerful image of ice/in vodka...you've captured that moment perfectly.....

  10. That moment painful and powerful. Well written.

  11. A heartbreaking piece, sad and solemn. Good work.

  12. Yes, this is sad, and all too common in our society...but a word about your endings...I love the simile at the end...perfect!

  13. Oh my. This is so powerful...my heart breaks that this is a reality for so many. Alcoholism is so sad and destructive. Thank you, for this poem.♥

  14. I like the visual of the melting ice it fits the dissolution of a marriage well.
    Personally I am always amazed at the number of women who blame (or take blame) for rotting relationships.

  15. A sad record of so many lives ruined because of that pitiful addiction to alcohol... Well-penned!

  16. Extraordinary poem, given what it must have felt like to write it. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.


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