Out of the maelstrom of a daughter's heroin addiction come these gripping poems of love and powerlessness, tenacity and surrender, brokenness and resilience. These poems offer an intimate memoir that serves as a poetry of witness to the opiate epidemic that is ravaging millions of families throughout the United States. The Heroin Addict's Mother: A Memoir in Poetry launched on January 28, 2021.
A…gritty and stirring collection of heartfelt poems…emanating from the power…of a mother’s undying love for her addicted child. These poems will resonate with so many out in the world suffering from addiction.
John F. Kelly, Professor of Psychiatry in Addiction Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Founder and Director, Recovery Research Institute, Mass General Hospital
Greenspan gifts us with…forceful and courageous poems that speak not only to mothers of addicted children, but to all of us who have feared and fought for our children to be safe and well.
Harriet Lerner, Author of The Dance of Anger
Only a true poet can tell such truths with such power…
Deena Metzger, Author of Ruin and Beauty
…breathtaking, truly brilliant. Destined to be tremendously helpful to so many people going through similar terrifying, gut-wrenching experience and to help others understand in great depth what that world is like.
Paula J. Caplan, Author of Don't Blame Mother: Mending the Mother-Daughter Relationship
Miriam’s words capture the essence of what we who are touched by addiction live and breathe. They remind us we are not alone and that we too can recover.
Joanne Peterson, Founder/Executive Director of Learn to Cope, Inc.
A rich mix of sadness and despair, love and hope, there’s not a word that doesn’t ring true.
Sheryl St. Germain, Author of The Small Door of Your Death
For further information, please link to my website for The Heroin Addict's Mother: www.theheroinaddictsmother.com
IN HER ROOM
where the carpet stains begin
at the door and end at the window
where the air is stale with smoke
from cigarettes lit years ago
where her art class engraving
of a dragon her photo
of a young boy throwing stones
into a pond hang
in silence where I heard her voice
in muted tones beneath the noise
of the TV where girls giggled
on overnights a floor away
where she fell asleep with the phone
on her face where her adolescence
took place—the hidden
beer and the boys—where
after college she returned
to hibernate for winter and never
emerged for spring
where blood spilled
into the needle pills fell
under the bed where spirits
of the addicted dead feed
on the memory of heroin
where the space is not
converted to a guest room
where no one goes anymore
where the door is closed
where the past is frozen
LET'S TALK ABOUT ADDICTION
Let's talk about addiction
the CIA connection, drug money
to finance covert shiipments
of weapons, hidden wars,
that baby lying dead
on the streets of Kabul,
your daughter in her quilted bed
with a blackened spoon and syringe.
Let's talk about Mr. Gagliardi
of Medford who died at midday
on the grass in Boston Garden
shooting up in front of tourists
who found a fresh corpse
where they expected red and yellow tulips.
Crowds on their way
to catch a play on Washington Street
treated to front row seats
of theatre verite, the last act
in which the needle hangs
from the dead man's arm
while the faint of heart turn away.
Let's talk about suicide,
direct and inadvertent. Vehicular homicide,
that last joy ride before the lifelong spin
in the wheelchair. Let's talk about theft,
crimes committed as a means
to get high. Let' not forget random
acts of violence in which heroin meth crack
cocaine drive the live action
thriller in the killer's brain.
Let's talk about the purity of high-octane
smack, unmixed and the cost of a six-pack,
grown for your loved ones
in rich Afghan fields of poppy
by farmers with nothing
else to sell but their daughters.
Let's talk about your teenage son
who thought snorting oxyocontin
would be fun and wound up
strung out, breaking into homes
for trinkets. Look past the picket fences
you'll find the lawn disturbed
in your neighbor's yard. Note the crimson
cardinal and his red-crested mate.
To face the Hydra-headed god
who's kidnapped your child, you'll need
a bracing shot of beauty the way
an end-stage drunk needs booze.
CAN A POEM SAVE A LIFE?
I have lived like thin smoke rising
from a bloody field.
I have stretched my stringy will
through one more night.
Not to forsake my child. Not to capitulate.
To save a life
Is to save the world, the Talmud says.
Can a poem save a life?
Shall I write new blood into dead words?
Shall I peel back my sleeve?
Will the whisper of hope seep in-
to the cordoned room
Of my loneliness? Shall I rise
to one more morning?
copyright 2021 Miriam Greenspan