I Will Know… | A Poem
Updated: Feb 27
As a child I knew much more
than adults gave me credit for.
Even at the age of three
it was not difficult to see
the endless lies and heavy despair
due to Mum's drinking and Dad's affair.
Every night I heard them shout,
Knowing what it was all about.
In their room behind closed doors
thinking they shut out the shrieks and the roars.
What private trysts did they keep? Did words of love from their hearts drip-seep? Yet they never divorced; Perhaps the marriage was forced to tie them infinitely together, whatever the internal, marital weather. The scandal of separation would have picked clean their bones in a neighbourhood where one must keep up with the Jones.
Whatever must the neighbours have thought?
I don't remember, though perhaps I ought.
I was only a child; what could I do?
Perhaps no one ever knew
what went on inside our house,
for I never told, being quiet as a mouse.
The tales never escaped my parents’ lips
when they left the house on their secretive trips. Seems reputation was never considered, when they met with their lovers each drab, dreary day.
And so with this hypocrisy I grew up, and now I drink from the self-same cup. My wife’s love is no longer mine so I drown my sorrow in cheap bottles of wine.
At night I hear my children cry to sleep as I lie in bed, brain alcohol-fuddled deep. I vaguely hear my wife’s accusations and respond through a dizzy numb drunken sensation. Now I know how my parents must have felt, and accept readily the blow fate has dealt.
Is it true that children take after their parents before them? Perhaps when my children mature, I will know then…