Family Ties (2)

After a glass or five of wine when I had had just one
I thought I might just try and talk to you about this
See if maybe what I recall also affects you too,
as it seems to me that you weren't there in the nightmare stuff
but I need to make sure for my own peace of mind.

Do you remember dads mate the one with the ...
Oh Christ no ... I can't say that, let's start again.
You remember when dad used to drink in the basement
do you remember much from when we were kids
and that mate of his who used to come over sometimes.

My heart stands still as I hold myself I hope casually
and I look not quite into her eyes as she pauses
and mumbles what are you on about, do you mean Ron?
Yes that was his name did you ever play games with him
Do you remember anything of what he was like?

Well I remember him coming to babysit us after school
I remember him stinking of pipe smoke and ... was it beer
I never went near him he was too crazy, said he hated my eyes
I remember that. You sound kind of funny, are you all right?
I am more than all right I am over the moon. Yes I'm good thanks.

Some months later I talk to my biggest brother after too many beers
He looks kind of shifty and then blurts out that he does remember
The big bad monster man who took me and Brendan downstairs
And he cried and said how bad he'd always felt for not helping us
He was my big biggest brother and yet he was still really small.

I hold his hand while he cries and I think to myself how sad all this is
That to talk I have had to make us drink to this point of drunkeness
But still it is what it is and I must make ammends I can not leave him
thinking that even the smallest bit of this is in any way his fault,
my big biggest brother who I love, for I know he will have tried and tried.

I look into his face and tell him as much as I can bear to just then
And he sits there and listens as quietly as only a brother knows how
and the sadness and sorrow overtake us again so we drink some more
He tells me that his memories of this time have always been quite hazy
Which I say is probably for the best, so lets now talk of other things.

Neither these two mention our father and that's what I needed to know.
For whilst they might strongly suspect the bad monster man in Ron
they've no idea that he lurks also in Dad, a man they love even now.
So it's an ongoing gift that I have for years by my total silence
Given these two people the illusion at least of a loving father.

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