Night-Blooming Jasmine, a poem

illustration night blooming jasmine

Night Blooming Jasmine, a poem

After dark, anything could happen – each

moment was disconnected from the last.

There was no logical progression to our lives:

most events had the dramatic essence of a car

accident. One evening, my mother decided

to sneak out my bedroom window when my

stepfather cut her off. He was drunk himself,

but for some reason decided she shouldn’t have

more Scotch. I remember her butt, in white

nylon undies, decorating the center of my open

window. I both fretted and hoped that she might

fall and hurt herself. Another night, my stepfather

decided it was time to throw all the pillows away,

including mine, because to him they smelled like

“horse piss.” My mother followed, protesting

loudly, wrestling him for the pillows. She lost:

the pillows went into the garbage cart. This

happened in our front yard, on a warm night scented

with night-blooming jasmine. I watched the two

drunken grown-ups, distancing myself from the scene.

I watched it like a T.V. show or a movie. When

I try to tell people about these things now, I can’t

keep a straight face. The laughter chokes me,

renders me unable to speak. I am silenced.

They’re both long dead now… but I’m still here.


Filed under addiction, adult children of alcoholics, ancient history, anger, child abuse, child neglect, childhood, divorce, poetry

10 responses to “Night-Blooming Jasmine, a poem

  1. kabir gandhiok

    Deeply touching in a sort of a strange way, which makes it even more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We laugh because otherwise we’d have to cry. There is a real (and justified) sense of achievement in the statement “…but I’m still here”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fabulous prose. Earthy and elegant.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Stephanie D'Arcy

    I love your stuff because I live out in the damn country and my life needs help. You aren’t afraid to look like a fool, just like me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Clyde Elable

    Jasmine. Puts me in mind of an old girlfriend I had. She was fond of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am so glad you remembered something about yourself, reading this prose poem.


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