Toxic Parents and Adult Children

It’s the luck of the draw as to which childhood any of us inherit. Sometimes it’s filled with toxic parents who leave abusive tattoos that last a lifetime. Remarkably, they wind up under our care with the same bag of tricks that got us the first time around. Aside from the painful irony that our roles are strangely unreversed, there is the disappointing ending that death changes nothing. Here or gone, the toxic departed are up to their old tricks again and again.

Toxic Tango
By David Solie

Something was always
Wrong in our house,
The rank anger
Of inadequate lives,
Nightly skirmishes of regret
Fought in a liquored fog
That slicked accusations
Until they proved pointless.

Yet, they stayed together,
Oddly determined to hammer
It out, counting on bad luck
To reshuffle the marital deck,
The last one standing finally
Free to blame unencumbered,
A triumphant payback
Delivered minus a mate.

So they thought.
In the end, they died
With ample spacing
To declare a winner
Forced to endure,
Nightly forays from
The marital hereafter.
One gone, but nothing settled.