Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "A Demon There"

This poem came out of the November 4, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] janetmiles and [personal profile] alexseanchai.  It also fills the "memories" square in my 9-29-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo  fest.  This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.  It belongs to the series One God's Story of Mid-Life Crisis.

"A Demon There"


Trobby stares at the murky glass
and the fluid that sloshes inside it.
There is no demon within this  bottle.

That doesn't make it any less dangerous.

"Why do you always stare at the bottles
like that?" asks Prell the minstrel.

"There's a demon there," Trobby explains,
"sometimes."  The wine is empty
of everything but alcohol,
and that's the issue, really.

Trobby's head is full of hassles and bad memories;
the wine makes them stop bothering him
for a while ... but it doesn't make them go away.

"You mean a real demon," Prell says nervously,
"not just people talking about vices."

"Oh yes.  I've seen one," Trobby says.

"I wonder if there are poppy demons too," Prell says,
her voice thickening with her own memories.

Prell's life isn't so different from Trobby's,
just the means, not the end -- his parents
were the town drunks, her father
poisoned himself with poppy.

"There are poppy demons," said Shaeth.
"I have spoken of them with Abredin the Herb Goddess.
It may be that we can find some way to keep them ...
more contained than they have been.
If I am going to be the God of Drunks,
I don't want demons devouring my followers."

"Am I, though?  Really?" Prell said.

Shaeth pulled her close and ruffled her hair.
"You come to my temple.  You play for my drunks,"
he said.  "You are mine if you want to be."

But if a poppy demon had taken her father,
it was a hazard for Prell as well,
the same way that any kind of booze
was heaven and hell for Trobby.

He might be a priest of Shaeth now,
but he was still a drunk, and
sometimes it was still a problem.

Trobby pushed the bottle away.
"Not thirsty," he said.

It was a struggle, like walking a rope bridge,
but today he was winning.

* * *


"But when alcohol comes in, start running. Because there's a demon there, and it goes back to her childhood."
-- David Gest

Substance abuse is a negative coping skill that can impact memory.  Reducing or giving up the preferred substance may require mourning its loss.  There are better coping skills for replacing it.  Trobby doesn't want to give up alcohol altogether, but does want to push down his level of drinking to where it won't wreck the new life he's building.

Substance abuse affects the whole family.  Children of alcoholics or drug addicts may have negative impacts continuing into adulthood.  Follow the steps to recover from addictive family dynamics.

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, family skills, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, spirituality, weblit, writing
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