via Daily Prompt: Critical

Oh, Haley…

A very strong, independent woman; single mother with children

Left behind; trashed inside, tossed aside, all because she drank like the men

Oh, Haley…

Lost her heart, Lost her soul, lost her mind, nearly lost her life

Almost lost her kids and everything dear, the very thought cut her like a knife

She realized she had a problem; the drinking had to stop.  She couldn’t go on as she was

And into drug treatment she went followed by AA.  She fought on with bared claws

Oh, Haley….

Got a sponsor who worked her ass off

Worked those twelve steps – one to twelve in order – her new life was her payoff

Asked her questions; found her answers; served others, served her Master

And who was He?  The one she called her Higher Power

Oh, Haley….

For many years now she’s been sober; her life has turned ’round many times over

Her family has stood at her side; she now has a man at her side

Love surrounds her wherever she goes; she serves all with great pride

She knows she’s still the student; teaching of what keeps her sober

Oh Haley….

Always there for others; living her life in love and service to others

For her, that’s her new focus, her drive, her passion, her life

As it means her life if she does not “do unto others”

As she serves the blessings enrich her; keeps her light shining bright

Oh Haley….

The illnesses began; pneumonia, chest pain, antibiotics were given

Nothing worked; other symptoms appeared, a blinding headache

Horrible backaches, worsening chest pains…but never did she give in

A fighter all the way, she demanded the answers, the true answers for her sake

Oh Haley….

Finally, finally, she gained those answers, the doctors blew this call

Two words, two dreaded words, critical, vital words, sealed her fate forever

Lung cancer, stage four, now hitting her brain and bones, enough to make one fall

But what about our Haley?  What would she do?  Give up?   NEVER

Oh Haley….

You are the boldest, bravest woman I’ve ever known.  Ever determined to live

Following and trusting your Power Above All to allow you more time until His Final Call

Still serving, still loving, still sober, still working those steps, still willing to give

As a fellow drunk, I say to you, my dearest friend, I love you and your strength will move mountains for us all.


Author’s note:  The Twelfth Tradition of Alcoholics Anonymous states, “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions [There are 12 of them] ever reminding us to place principles over personalities.”  (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, AAWS 47th printing 2009)  The story in this poem is the truth.  The name has been changed to honor the tradition of anonymity.  I proudly proclaim myself to be an alcoholic but that is my choice for myself.  I cannot make that choice for another and must respect the tradition reflected in Tradition 12 at all times.Critical

3 thoughts on “Haley”

    1. Thank you so much for your sincere compliments, Steve. I’ve always despised writing and reading poetry, believe it or not. WordPress changed that as this site has tutorials for different types of writing, including poetry.

      You mention the repetition; it’s actually a tool of poetry, anaphora. It’s the use of the same phrase repeatedly at the beginning of each stanza as a “hook.” Epistrophe is the same except it’s at the end. I couldn’t get that to work. I’m glad I was able to make one of these two devices work, anyway!

      But in all seriousness, I’ve been working on characters based in real-life or based on experiences I’ve either had myself or witnessed; again, as a “hook.” I’ve decided that every so often you’ll hear a bit more about “me” but not as much. I’m also posting on BayArt as well, FYI.

      Liked by 1 person

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