My Own Paradise Lost
By Laverne Edmonds
Today we woke just the two of us,
The sun was shining bright.
‘Its your birthday honey’ I said to her,
She smiled glowingly, a beautiful sight.
We cuddled and kissed as I lifted her down,
From the top bunk where she had slept.
‘Sshh’ I whispered, ‘the gift fairies have been’
So to the living room we silently crept.
To her amazement she found all around in there,
Presents on the floor, the table, at the fire.
She clapped her hands and trotted around,
To look at her smile I could never tire.
Opening her presents with “whoops” and “squeals”,
Reading her card messages out loud.
I looked at her and my heart was full,
At how this little girl makes me proud.
We both ate breakfast side by side,
Looking forward to the day ahead.
When I started to think of what I had to do,
The enormity started to fill me with dread.
Getting us ready to fly out the door,
To get to my mums by ten twenty.
To have a birthday brunch and reunite with Max,
Then get the number 42 by twelve twenty.
We were visiting the castle this afternoon,
All three of us along with my Dad.
Who bless him moves slower than a three toed sloth,
And his penchant for gift shop tat is bad.
So the pressure inside me started to rise,
As I realised we were short on time.
Today’s event success would be all down to me,
So Angelina I must start to prime.
I asked her to help with a couple of things,
Which was met with an obnoxious moan.
I retorted, ‘Come on!’ in a clearly terse tone,
Then three times in a row rang the phone.
Trying to be polite I explained that we were
In a huge birthday rush right now,
Watching the clock and losing the will,
We ended up in our first birthday row.
I know later on when I give it some thought,
My stress was to cause our change of weather,
But I’ll never forget how I felt in my heart,
When she said, ‘This is the worst birthday ever!’
It made me feel angry like a teenager again,
And all I could do was try and defend.
So up came the wall and the armour adorned
And negative energy to her I did send.
Her words had wounded me to the quick,
And I couldn’t stop myself, I took them to heart.
I could not see that the way I had been
Was what caused this right from the start.
The stroppier she got, the angrier I became,
Again it was a battle of wills.
Two stubborn women each having to win,
Pulling each other three the emotional mill.
Eventually we cuddled and said we were sorry,
Though it was me that needed to say it more.
The guilt had arrived and it’s presence was strong,
It filled my right to the core.
I decided on a taxi and made it to Mums,
So happy to see Max’s smiling face.
We ate too quickly and the dog barked throughout,
Me secretly wanting to punch it in the face.
We raced to the bus stop and made it in time
And started our odyssey to the castle.
Angelina looking disinterested and whining a lot,
Me wondering if it was really worth the hassle.
We made if there and queued for an age,
” 1 adult, 2 children and a concession”.
When she answered bluntly, ‘ that’s £48.50’
My shoulders raised up with more tension.
Once inside I prayed the castle would be
Worth the money at least I would hope
But sadly for me it wasn’t by far
As the trip was on a slippery slope.
Within ten minutes of being in there
I saw an opportunity for a comical snap.
Max was willing but Angelina was not
And started a grumpy old flap.
‘This is rubbish!’ she exclaimed out loud,
‘Im not doing it! No way! No never!’
I showed my disapproval and then heard it again
‘ This really is the worst birthday ever!’
Now something stirred the volcano inside
And the pressure rose up to the top.
The crater erupted on the top of that rock,
Hiss! Bang! Gush! Burst! Ping! Pop!
My tears like lava ran down over my cheeks,
I shouted ‘Why you doing this? Why today?’
She started to cry and cowered away
‘Don’t know !!’ was all she could say.
I stood in despair outside the whisky shop
Feeling an overwhelming need to head in there
And grab the first bottle I could get my hands on
Glug it back cause I’m way beyond care.
I stopped, focused and then spoke it aloud,
‘Right now Dad, I want to get drunk!’
He smiled nervously and jollied me along
But I was sad at how this day had sunk.
My courage I gathered and breathing deeply
I held the craving right up in front
I looked it in the eye and forcefully exclaimed
‘ It’s a choice and I have decided that I won’t’.
Angelina and I sat down and we talked
And came to an understanding once more.
We continued our visit in a much happier way
This time it didn’t seem so much like a chore.
We three are parted now till Wednesday night
And as I reflect my heart fills with regret
But what is done is done, there’s no going back
So no use letting myself worry and fret.
Good things did happen I can list them all
And when thinking of them smile with great joy.
How many times we said we love each other
Our sadness when we had to say goodbye.
For me this day tried to push me back
To a place I no longer wish to be.
I didn’t submit to my alcohol crutch.
I am calm, I am sober, I am free.
Nighty night x