Addiction II
I listen carefully to gage what you are covering up
To hear if your words are slurred
Or your outlook too bleak,
Or if you have verged into mania.
I tell myself,
This is the nature of addiction.

I try not to take it personally
as I internalize your depression and misplaced rage.
On your good days I strain towards the normalcy in your voice
Recalling how you once were, and could be again
Imagining all the fun we could have as sisters.
Setting myself up to fall when you crash.
I cover for you to try to spare others the worry.
How many stints in the ICU will it take
“to reach rock bottom?”
I have been encouraged to walk away
but I cannot.
My guilt and my love
and my powerlessness weigh heavy.
This is the nature of addiction.