Hope Secondary School Grade 9 slam poetry: Alcoholics

For her, it started at home.

The empty bottles, the stench of alcohol.

Yelling and screaming drifting down the hall.

But she could do nothing.

She had no power, no power at all.

Mom would disappear for days at a time.

Dad might as well not be there

Unconscious in his hangover chair.

She felt like they didn’t care.

She felt like there was no love there.

People would say “You look like your mother.”

But all she could see was messy hair, tired eyes,

and cracked lips full of lies.

But she had no power over what people saw

She had no power at all.

It seemed as if the days were on repeat

They would spend the money on “their treat”,

Instead of buying her food to eat.

“We need booze” they say.

Even though they’re starting to sway.

“Have you ever thought of what booze means?”

She’d ask while trying not to scream.

It all makes you feel a wooze

Like you have nothing to lose.

But what you don’t know is that it scares –

everyone around you.

But they didn’t hear her, they heard nothing at all.

Because she has no power, no power at all.

This isn’t right she thought.

I shouldn’t have to put up a fight.

She left that night.

She packed all she could

Not that there was much.

Just some clothes and such.

Then she left.

Didn’t even have to sneak

Walked right out the front door

She had no reason to hide for.

Ten years later

She has stayed strong

Never gone into the wrong.

She has a family of her own

They all have a wonderful place to call home.

She still thinks of what she’s seen

Still thinks of what she could’ve been.

Empty bottles, stench of alcohol.

Yelling and screaming drifting down the hall.

Tired eyes, messy hair.

She’s stopped wondering why they didn’t care.

And when people ask what happened between her

and her parents, she says…

“The thing about alcoholic parents

is that alcoholic parents

don’t exist.

They’re simply alcoholics who could not stay sober long enough to raise their kids.”

She knows something now that she didn’t know before.

Before walking straight out that door.

She had the power and she stayed strong

She had the power all along.

– Emily Taylor

The Hope Standard will be sharing slam poetry written by students in Hope Secondary’s Grade 9 Humanities class, led by teachers Maya Araki-Hoshowski and Kim Hollman, over the next month.

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