Do you hear them, Mom? he asked.
I was busy doing a household task,
but I stopped to listen
seeing sweat on his forehead begin to glisten.
The room was quiet, and I’d say, even cool,
his lips trembled— at each corner was drool.
I paid close attention to absolutely no sound
for there was just silence—no one else around.
He turned to me with pathetic, red eyes,
my antenna went up—this was no surprise.
“The Devil,” he said, “He’s whispering to me,
saying, “Go get your fix so you can fly free.”
I’d heard it before, I’d paid a high price
between acting on ‘Tough Love’, and playing real nice.
I knew not this stranger—the results were the same
I was worn to a frazzle—tired of this game.
I’d done sleepless nights, I’d walked the cold floor,
prayed he’d survive—I just wanted more.
More of the child I’d once bore, and loved
thinking him perfect—my gift from above.
I’d sent him to church, and parochial school,
the teachers all loved him—he obeyed every rule.
Public school was different—a new bag of tricks.
Soon he was looking for his next cocaine-fix.
We fought and we begged him to take a new path,
but he was not scared of our Lord’s promised wrath.
To be ultra popular was his only goal,
and he would not worry ‘bout his darkened soul.
We had to let go, let him go his own way
for he rebelled an average of ten times a day.
Our home was disrupted—there was no peace to be had.
When he left our house, we rejoiced and were glad.
We told him the one thing he could never do,
if he left our home, and made himself a fool,
was return to the nest anytime he might please—
not even with promises on bended knees.
He’d have to be clean of the drugs he so craved,
prove for certain he was no longer enslaved
to the Whispers of Satan, the stealing and lies—
the endless tears in both his parent’s eyes.
I know that he tried, and sometimes was sincere,
but too soon that old Devil had him by the ear.
He’d return to the stranger I never knew,
not the kind-hearted boy I adored as he grew.
I wanted to believe him—when he said he’d get clean,
but junkies say things they don’t really mean.
They have to come back from a world not their own—
back to reality with proof they have shown.
Until then, I say, “Don't feel defeated, or small.
You’ve done what you could, and now that is all.
Give it to God, he is still in control.
He knows your child’s heart, and he owns their soul.”