Thursday 1 June 2023

Momma’s Special Tea

by Nick Gisburne

Behind her fingers, frightened, she can see
Her mother, sick, descending into drink.
“Go fetch it, baby, momma’s special tea,
The bottle, in the kitchen, near the sink.”
The stench, the stains, the misery, the shit,
The foul, unfiltered poverty and piss
Of knowing this is living, all of it,
Will vanish, for a moment, for a kiss.
“We’re going somewhere better, sweetie, sure.
Tomorrow. Be an angel. Go to bed.”
She prays to find the courage to endure,
But hears a drunkard’s dark descent instead.
    Unqualified to comprehend its grip,
    She takes her momma’s tea, and steals a sip.