He Took Courage By The Hand

Two sons he sired, and to his wife
he vowed to drink no more,
and she gave thanks, for that was all
she had been praying for.

But then she learned the words he spoke
had not come from his heart,
because the booze he loved so much
from him did not depart.

She carried on the best she could,
although it made her sad
to think that he would rather drink
than be a proper dad.

She persevered through tears and pain
and tried to live with pride,
while he, the master of denial,
just pushed the truth aside.

The children grew and often cried
to see their daddy change;
they could not understand why booze
held power to make him strange.

As years went by their mother knew
it would be best to leave,
for every time he tied one on,
she watched her children grieve.

Oh, was it fate that intervened
to make him see the light?
Was it her prayers that gave him strength
and helped him win the fight?

Or was it loss of those he loved --
which hurt him to the core --
that made him know inside his soul
that he could drink no more?

Yes, he took courage by the hand
and fought to change his life;
acceptance was his victory
which won him back his wife.

His sons stand straight and tall with pride,
they are no longer sad;
sobriety erased their shame,
they’re proud to call him Dad.

Copyright © 1996 Ruth Gillis

First published in Poet's Review September 1996

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