I had just enough humanity left
To acknowledge the command
As embarrassing as it
Was to have my
Enter the hellhole
Where addicts of all kinds . . .
Had congregated to do their/
uninterrupted by meddling outsiders.
She came anyway.
Bossy as usual,
And demanded . . .
Her tone brooked no
Argument or refusal
Her eyes hard and unwavering
Pinning me as sharply as the aged finger she pointed in my face.
Trapped solid in my alcoholic, stupid, stupor,
Just enough common sense
On my dressed for success outfit.
A two-piece, red leather suit
Given me by some well-meaning
Charitable organization that sought
People like me find a job.
And from the looks of it in
This small, smelly, cramped room,
We the people of poverty,
Of hopelessness, of insanity,
Of properly uneducated people like me
Didn’t take too kindly to their generosity.
We spit on their kindness or tossed it back
with one mo’ sip of alcohol,
One mo’ hit, one mo’ hump n’ grunt.
Failure is tiring, too
I had just enough wherewithal to
Follow Mama from the iniquities of death’s den
Out the door and into a future where nothing is promised
but trying self-improvement again is better
than surviving the destruction of my soul.