Drunk Child Haikus

(Immediately after the Drama)

1. Son got drunk tonight/
I’m more afraid than angry/
Booze can kill people/

2. He is so ashamed/
But he’s also very drunk/
I don’t believe him/

3. Seems like yesterday/
He was my little buddy/
Proud to be my son/

4. He drank too much booze/
And he became so blotto/
He had the dry-heaves/

5. I’m sure the ceiling/
Spun behind his damp eye-lids/
Before he passed out/

6. I love my son so/
And I want his life to flow/
But I worry so/

7a. He’s too young for this/
To drink and carouse around/
I hope he learns this/

7b. He’s too young for this/
To drink and carouse around/
Like some young adult/

8b. Drunk apologies/
Sound so heartfelt and sincere/
I want to believe/

(After some Reflection the next morning)

9. Looking at pictures/
From earlier vacation/
Life was so care-free/

10a. My *Paradise Lost*/
Is the day my child got drunk/
And lied and cheated/

10b. My *Paradise Lost*/
Is the day my child got drunk/
And learned rebellion/

10c. My *Paradise Lost*/
Is the day my child got drunk/
And became human/

11. My heart is broken/
In ways I had thought long gone/
Seeing my child stumble/

13. People can’t live up/
To your dream expectations/
This you must accept/

14. Accepting people/
For who they are increases/
The love in your heart/

15. These “expectations”/
Become evil projections/
That we mask life with/

16a. The waves are bigger/
This day after the wet storm/
Of my child’s falling/

16b. The waves are bigger/
This day after the wet storm/
Of my child’s drinking/

17. The garbage scow floats/
Like other days except it/
Carries illusions/

18. My perfect beach break/
Has been broken by my child’s/
Imperfect growing/

19. My perfect idle/
Has become a fallen hell/
recalling past joys/

20. The shrink-wrapped-children/
With tent-sized hats will still grow/
Into young adults/

21. There is no sun-block/
That can ward-off adulthood/
With its decisions/

22. We protect children/
From all external perils/
But not from themselves/

23. Sadness fills my heart/
To stretch it into something/
Bigger with more love/


5 responses to “Drunk Child Haikus

  1. Having been that drunk teen, it’s hard for me to view the parent perspective. So its hard for me to imagine how you feel. But since my dad got sick, and Omar was diagnosed with his cancer, i’ve been asked (by a high power it seems) to give up my youth. While my peers are out clubbing, partying- i’m home care-taking. Its not much of a loss, having experienced all that at an early age I mean the first time i drank was 12 and the first time i drank liquor was 14, and i’ll leave the other narcotics out of this. But, i gave up my youth…my future planning ( school, work) and in doing so i feel the void it leaves. I dont have blissful ignorance anymore. I try so, so hard to preach to the youngsters, to hold on to it, to preserve it. But all we can do is hope, hope they listen

  2. Stafford, I feel for you and Linda. . . it’s so hard to predict, not to overact, to trust his higher power and him. . . my cousin and her family are burying their son/brother this weekend. A week ago, she went to his house and found he’d hung himself. He’d had a lot of problems with depression, but he was a lovely guy, and they all did everything they could to love him to life. Enjoy the day and love each other — as I know you do.

  3. This is the life stage where we as a parents decide how much more freedom to give our children; and they always want more than they might actually be ready for. What a thing! You’re required to take a leap of faith every day, sometimes several times a day, as you guide them on their journey. Trust your instincts, Stafford. Keep talking to him, and remind him that you love him; even if you decide to lay down the hammer :-). And the FI is still the “perfect idle.” Don’t let that go either.

  4. stafford, I love your writing always, my prayers join all that surrounds you
    here is my mantra of the summer:
    god’s got this
    god’s got this
    god’s got this

  5. Thanks Tasha, Alice, Daphne, Christine, James & everyone who’s offered me support!

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