January 19, 2011

Jeannette Angell


And now I’m remembering the words, hot and
angry, that preceded the acts, not important
in themselves but wrapping

around me like a vine that chokes
off the new growth of the tree beneath.
I wonder at how easy it is to forget, my mother

sitting miserable in her bedroom drinking
sherry and wishing she’d had a
different life, a better life and

I see you now frightened, the fear
swirling in the bruised landscape all around
us. And wonder if you’ll ever be able to do it, to forget

what happened or if you, too, will grow
miserable and find your solace
in playing the martyr, in a bottle of something so

refined one could be forgiven for thinking
 it’s not alcoholism at all. I believed her words, that
it was my fault, always my fault, so it’s not

surprising (I tell myself) that I found others
who would make me feel that way too. That is the
past, now, but bruised me like the land

all around us, so I find it extraordinary that
the mind allows people
to forget. Perhaps it’s for the best; perhaps

if I remembered I too would have the door closed and
the bottle out. I don’t know;
I know only that since I came to the end of the world
                                                              I have healed.


Jeannette Angell is a novelist, playwright, and poet who lives and writes in an old sea captain's house in North Truro village, at the tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. More information at www.JeannetteAngell.com.

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