AN ALCOHOLIC GOES SHOPPING

Posted by Admin on Sunday, 1st June 2008, 00:00

Quite sober now, Amanda halts
her trolley near the bottled booze,
to linger where on close-packed shelves,
a tout for anti-temperance,
paraded liquor beckons her to buy.

The whisky, gin, and vodka wink –
deride her deprivation – offer to
dispel the ghosts of yesteryear.

Just one small bottle? Brandy to
console her clamant nerves. Medicinal.
Why not? Medicinal – like hell!

The self-deception fails. Her brain
reacts – supports her will. She dare
not contemplate relief at such
a price; but fills the parched
lacuna with a peppermint –
ignores her shopping list and takes
a score of things she really does
not need – quite desperate to drain
her purse – with lack of cash defeat
the bane, her craving for a drink.

‘Live day by day, the A. A. way’ –
the maxim pulses, half-persuades,
inside her aching head – but still
the lush’s dream of Shangri-la,
complete oblivion, plays havoc with
her fixed resolve.

The shoppers pass, indifferent
to her plight – congenitally free.

Delay at check-out – fatal pause –
she makes a detour, slips the rum
beneath her coat, then starts to shake.
Once outside, decides to put it back.
Too late!
Her capture makes the store-detective’s day.

T. C. Hudson

© T. C. Hudson.

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