his mama’s wing

I knew a woman who’s husband was an alcoholic. He couldn’t break free. She loved him deeply. She had 2 children with him. They had a life. The booze slowly eroded the edges, then worked its way inward to the center. To the center of their life and to the center of his body. At the end, there wasn’t much, not much of a home, not much money, not much happiness. It was excruciatingly heartbreaking. It lead to a separation… which lead to renewed hope of recovery… which lead to a desperate begging on his part to come home.. to start again. But it was too late.

What is the lesson of this man’s life? His crumbling? Once can never know.. except to stand aching as the pain of his story sinks into our own guts and maybe makes us want to do all we can to want to live fully without a substance slowly ripping our precious lives to shreds.

his mama's wing
 crushed, broken
 before he even started
 weakened by the shortcomings of his father
 sleeping under his mamma’s wing
 he could imagine and dream
 but the damage was immense
 and the drink was heaven sent
 the beer, the wine and then the whiskey
 became his wobbly backbone
 his manhoods constant wicked test
 he tried and tried, and tried again
 each time weaker than the last
 trying to become a ‘real man'
 but his yearnings got forgot
 in the years of slurred tongue and hopeless laughter
 slowly crumbling over inside
 into his bent and broken dreams, rattling chatter
 slipping deeper into his wretched disgust
 aching to throw his body in front of a truck
 thankfully mamma came along, one more time, again
 his wife, his mother, he couldn’t tell
 it didn’t matter
 a recovery home... he called it the slammer
 then his heart attack, triple bypass
 no more drink, but now the drugs
 hanging on by one weak rung
 he told me he might have cancer of the lung
 some time went by before he died, alone
 and stayed that way for 3 long days
 did his spirit hover over as he watched his fatal heart attack
 as it slammed him up against the wall inside his chest?
 looking down upon himself in his staggering loss
 his precious life ravaged by how much the drink had cost
 he had finally gotten clean you see, and had wanted to go home
 to his wife, his woman, to that soft place of imaginary dreams and peaceful sleep
 he had been finally ready to try to be the man 
 that he had forsaken for the drink
 but the Goddess can be a harsh teacher
 because once you loose her 
you have to stand in, and walk, and live your manhood 
and prove your strength 
to be allowed again to try and reach her

 his spirit now tucked up high, under his mamma’s angelic wing
 curling into himself, while his innocent un-lived manhood weeps

 (c) 2021 Christina James
     Circa 2011

Credits: Header photo by Tim Moss from Unsplash.com.

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  1. His Mamma’s Wing is so damn good. The language flows. The sounds of words that belong together. Words strung on a sentence like pearls on a necklace.

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