August 24, 2022.



"pillbillies"

Quick to the draw,
ringing the phone off the hook -
a strained voice and hacking cough
from years of shaky handed smoke breaks

Asks me where my daddy is,
what about my mama -
Needs a quick fix, "Surely you understand honey,
tell em' to give me a call"

One counts the pills,
the other counts the money
and I'm unbuckled in the back seat
Parked in an unfamiliar driveway

I thought it was strange back then
that my dad stood so tall over my sister
for her addiction when he was a supplier
to another poor woman who drowned in grief

and they all claimed to be friends, good friends
but here we are charging an arm and a leg
for a little piece of sanity
putting band-aids on weeping wounds

Lydie lost her child in a swimming pool accident
and every since then, she will hit any bottle you hand her
My fondest memory was her styling my platinum blonde wig
for a Halloween costume contest in middle school

Tucked away in the mountains like the moonshine stills
Willing to go blind if you've seen enough, I reckon
Land bare for miles, nothing but blue rock and pills
An issue so common, you'd discuss it over breakfast before prayer

I hear a lot about substance abuse here and stereotypes
I don't see a lot of empathy from those looking in
I don't see responsibility on those looking out
So many restrictions and limitations on getting proper help

Lose it all to habit, and you can try to change
No roof, no car - a long drive and a weary heart
All that trauma confined to the word "pillbilly"
- just because of where you are











Poetry by aidan haskel The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 65 times
Written on 2022-08-24 at 07:09

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Uncle Meridian The PoetBay support member heart!
An excellence, this poem. Vivid. Real.
2022-08-24


Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
Nicely done. I have cousins in that hollow.
2022-08-24


Griffonner The PoetBay support member heart!
Oh boy! What a poem!
This tugged at my heartstrings and told a tale of upbringing that needs to be told. The World is full of nearly eight billion souls each one of which is completely and utterly unique, and yet within that vast number there will be a sizeable portion who can relate to your poem in a personal way, I feel.
I really, really enjoyed this, even though it is a tale of negative effects.
Brilliant.
Allen
2022-08-24