His shakes aren’t shivers,
but more broken nerve endings,
a storm he can’t shelter from.
His life has been lonely, lately,
the distance doesn’t seem great enough,
between him and his loved ones,
not for them at least,
despite the shakes and degeneration.
His friends only last from bar to bar,
his parents only last from nurse to nurse,
kids only last from call to call,
shakes only settle from drink to drink.
He hides it well,
a glance don’t show much,
the only trace, a trail of tea
drops of coffee, water, or beer
on his carpet.


I haven’t written a poem about my dad for years, and never one that wasn’t some angry, angsty thing. about how much I hate him. I don’t hate him. The emotions or feelings are far more complex than that. This implies pity.

2 thoughts to “Shakes

  • Sweepy Jean

    Wow, another thing in common: my dad was an alcoholic, too. IMHO, I see understanding in this poem. I'm struck by the images of impermanence, with the shakes being the only constant thing. I love it.

  • Moominboy

    Very mature poem. It sounds like you are in the process of making peace with your memories. You wrote down the feelings better than I ever could.


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