“God, Help Us”

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IN THE DARK at age 8
I lie in my bed,
listening to voices
loud
in other parts of the house,

and pray, “God, help us,”
unsure anyone is really listening,
unaware of just how many things need fixing.
I think it’s just Ma.

And I don’t think
it should be a big job
for God
to take His magic wand
and fix her.

* * *

ALREADY BY THEN
I have been present
when a note’s come home from school.
My brother , in trouble again.
And I hear,

“If it wasn’t for you kids, I wouldn’t drink”
and those words find a home in me.

And I go to school
and sit up straight
and face forward
and know my spelling words
and work on my numbers
and stand in line like a soldier
and vow not to draw attention to myself.

Ma’s drinking continues
and I keep trying harder.

I AM OVER 16
before I realize
it’s not about me,
her drinking.
It’s not about my being good enough.

And see,
this is something that will need to be fixed down the road.

* * *

But I am ignorant,
praying when 8,
“God, help us!”
that it might be me
who needs the fixing.

Still it’s a solid prayer
as so many
prayers in ignorance,
unsure and unaware,
often are.
Heart cries.

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy
.” – Psalm 116:1

* * *

Read the entire child-of-alcoholic series HERE.

About Marilyn

Reading, thinking, listening, writing and talking about faith, creativity, ESL for refugees, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. Cheez-it fan. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. Thank you so much for reading.
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