Advice for Morning TV

Glenn Fosbraey

My little girl
Sat beside me
Tiny body taking up most of the three-seat settee
The TV we’re watching makes my mind wander
And formulate
words, sentences, speeches, ADVICE (it’s what parents are meant to give, right?)
And mine? My words of wisdom born on this settee?
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse up on the screen, are these:
Don’t drink before school like I did,
‘cause I’m still mopping up
the mess that it caused
the black-sacked kitchen wad rolled over years in blonde hair, fluff
until I pick nothing up
least of all an explanation as to WHY I drank before school
downed can after can of John Smiths before Maths exams
half-emptied bottles of Fanta, then re-filled with vodka
held my nose, drained, then did it again
before my morning piss
had laid waste to the previous day
poured cheap blended malt into a 2nd hand hip-flask
sipped it in Music until I threw up at lunch, forced to start over again, so…
Don’t. Do. What I did. Darling.
I start to say this aloud, get as far as the first syllable “d…”
Then stop.
Think again.
Think that:
If I hadn’t wasted perfectly good Fanta,
If I hadn’t chugged scotch and breathed rank toxic lust in the face of my latest infatuation as she backed away, face painted fake smile, to tell “Sir” again
If I changed one of these things
Come to the aid of this brain so tasered, stained, and basted with hairballs, stale Frosties, dead spiders, M&Ms
If I had…
You wouldn’t be next to me
So I stop. At that first syllable.
Put my arm around you, pull you into me
And thank all that is anything that I drank before school

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