By Ishmael A Soledad

Granddad lost himself in the bottle,
dad lost himself in work,
I lose myself in food.
It’s all addictive personalities,
self-destructive blinkering,
thank fuck it ends with me.

My brother-in-law lost himself with a shotgun,
an uncle in snow and vodka,
another with high-powered cars.
It’s all self-loathing, all suicide,
just the speed that differs,
and society’s wagging fingers or outstretched arms.

Does speed equal guts, or shameless bravado,
long-term death a quavering resolve?
They don’t weep any gentler,
if it’s now or twenty years away,
Just if it’s not now.
they don’t ask why.

4 thoughts on “Lost

  1. Good references to the idea of stopping the pain here. Addictive tendencies do seem to run through to and pollute the gene pool. Even hapless sad sack lives – like a cloud that travels from one generation to the next. In the second stanza, did you mean to write “or outstretched arms”? Could that be “on outstretched arms”? Either way, nice probing and discomforting poem.


    1. Hello skipmars
      Thank you for the comments and the question.
      Yes, I meant “or outstretched arms” to highlight a differentiation I’ve seen in how society reacts to those doing immediate self-harm (outstretched arms of comfort) as opposed to those doing protracted self harm (wagging fingers of judgement).

      Liked by 1 person

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