I know he doesn’t mean it
When he goes to you instead
He’s known you longer than he’s known me
Will you know him ‘til he’s dead?
I smell your perfume in his shirt
At the end of every day
I know he spends more time with you
Yet there is nothing I can say
Wordlessly I watch and wait
While his lungs turn goopy and burn
My love for him isn’t strong enough
He chose you and I lose my turn
This poem is in response to Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt on The Poet by Day to write a poem about how addiction has touched my life. While smoking may not seem as terrible as opioid addiction (it’s not illegal, it’s still somewhat socially accepted), it is still an activity that takes you away from your relationships, obligations and hurts your health. In fact, I think any activity – even ones that start off as healthy, like running – can become an unhealthy addiction.
In this way, addiction has probably touched more lives that people might care to admit. Think of binge drinking in college or the even the use of smart phones – activities that people use as “coping skills” but, in reality, take people away from having real relationships and can cause serious mental and physical health problems. The mental and emotional components of addiction, as well as the physical aspects, has lasting effects, not only for the individual, but also for all the people in that person’s life.
In my professional and in personal lives, I am keenly aware of “addictive thinking” and “addictive behavior”. Tragically, I had a friend who died from alcoholism that she hid very well from us for many years. There is still so much stigma around addiction but we can’t be quiet about it any more. People are dying and we can’t just “wordlessly watch and wait”.
©️ iido 2018