Sad holiday


We went fishing my boy and me,

Sea fishing

it was our holiday, he was excited

and I was sad.

Sad only for myself in a selfish destructive way.

We shared a tiny room 

Seagulls nested on the rooftops,

I cried in my narrow little bed when he fell asleep.

I went to the bar and drank 

because I was weak and selfish and broken.


In the morning we walked on the beach

I bought him a board and watched him having fun

I didn't join in,

I was too selfish, sad and broken.

I watched him from the shore and thought about drinking,

we ate great food together while I thought about drinking.

He was happy and beautiful and curious,

it was just me and him you see.


He loved that holiday just me and him,

although I was sad

because I was selfish and lonely and broken.

His happiness made me see what I had destroyed,

I loved him and feared for him.

Pathetic that I couldn't be happy for him

and just pull myself together.

On the long drive home we sang and laughed.

He hugged me so tight in front of his mum,

his sailors hat and fishing rod.


On the way back to my newly leased life

I stopped at the first pub pulled down my cap and went in.

I drank a battleship of sorrow like a spoilt Gypsy King,

I tore my hair and stabbed my thigh.

I swore at the juke box and sang too loud,     

mostly because I was selfish and lonely and broken.

All that time of pain and torment

all that me me me

it's over now.


Strange to think that was my boys favourite holiday,

strange to recall that person I was. 


I guess everything changes if you just give it time. 

◄ Jean's hands

Gods bless us all ►


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Wolfgar Miere

Wed 27th Mar 2019 15:32

Thanks Mary,

This seemed to resonate with a few people, it is interesting to see peoples differing perspectives.

Thanks again,


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Etchy Mary

Tue 26th Mar 2019 21:18

Beautiful poem. It reminds me of my Dad coming to Boston for my wisdom teeth extraction. He got drunk of course and this sort of reminds me of times with him. It wasn't an altogether bad time, despite that my Dad was drunk and I got my teeth ripped out from beneath my gums.

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Wolfgar Miere

Fri 15th Mar 2019 11:28

Hi Rachel,

I think you are right and many people do just that. It isn't always the most welcome advice to hear but it is as you say probably the only way to move forward.



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Thu 14th Mar 2019 13:03

Forgive me for going on, but in reading all of the comments, I was reminded of a phrase I used to hear quite often--

"Adapt and Overcome"

..that's about the best we can expect of life, eh?

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Wolfgar Miere

Thu 14th Mar 2019 12:53

Thanks so much to all who have commented here, so much to take away and think about for me.

Thanks for taking time to comment at length those of you who did, it's always good to get the perspective of others (well almost always good) and if not at least it's all food for thought.

It seems feeling like an inadequate parent is a very common thing, I suppose I had realised that already as we all want the best for our children and are disappointed when we fail to deliver. I think being aware of that is a good thing as it should push us to try harder. I have mostly forgiven myself for my failings and am very lucky as my boy seems to be well adjusted. I had the benefit of having a lifestyle which enabled me to provide even in the worst of times, I am grateful for that and recognise how fortunate that made my situation.

Many families disintegrate because they can't hold things together either emotionally or financially, or both in some cases. To have to go through that and feel the burden of responsibility must be torturous.

Again, thanks all for your time and thoughts, have a good weekend.


<Deleted User> (19913)

Thu 14th Mar 2019 10:41

David, I recognise myself, and the pain and shame that comes of expecting more of oneself and failing to achieve it. I have had moments where I haven't been the mother, wife or person I had hoped to be at different times. And it's funny how we tend to ruminate on the times where we fxcked up, rather than the times where we got it right. This is a beautiful, human experience you have skilfully described, delicately and poignantly woven with what seems like self loathing and regret...but as Rachel says, we are quicker to forgive others than ourselves. I'm saying everything very badly as I hate typing on a phone, but just want to give you a big hug. Thank you sincerely, for making me not feel alone in this experience of life.

<Deleted User> (21487)

Thu 14th Mar 2019 10:37

Thank you for "for the sake of contrast"

We are estranged from our adult son but have very happy memories of childhood holidays.
your poem was so vivid that it provoked a tumult of thoughts.

I am so glad you had a happy ending.

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Heart of Lead

Thu 14th Mar 2019 02:10

This whole story... listening to your voice. Made me tear up. It's like I caught a glimpse of a story, but more than a story. A fragment from a time past and a past person. Looking at the past can bring as much joy as pain, especially when we think about the people we used to be. Thank you so much for telling the story. So many places we have been and so many people we have been as well, different versions of ourselves dealing with different circumstance. So much to think about here. Thank you.

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Wed 13th Mar 2019 20:11

Fascinating, sad, heartwarming and engross ing. Lots to mull over here.

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Hazel ettridge

Wed 13th Mar 2019 19:58

This seems to have really captured the humanity in your relationship with all its glories and sadnesses. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

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Wed 13th Mar 2019 16:06

"I drank a battleship of sorrow like a spoilt Gypsy King," What an amazing line Wolfgar! Adding it to my list of greatest lines! Powerful poem. Kids overlook so many things in the name of unconditional love. We should be so forgiving of ourselves. Thanks for sharing. 🎈

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Wed 13th Mar 2019 13:04

Let those who have never seen the bottom of too many bottles call it what they like--selfishness, self-medication, maladjustment, self-destruction. Maybe there's a bit of truth in each of those terms. But then, there's a lot of truth that gets ignored when those words are tossed about too lightly.

Our lives sometimes get derailed by events which we aren't equipped to handle. During those times, the learning curve can get pretty steep--often, we barely get by anyway we know how.

Really, I don't want to begin using lofty language--it just doesn't fit. But, as you know, in arriving at the other side of such meltdowns and cataclysms of perspective, we learn to use muscles we never knew we had. And, that's not weakness in any sense of the word.

Rachel x

It's not entirely relevant, yet not entirely irrelevant, but I was thinking about how it seems to be ingrained into us to be forgiving of others while not having the ability to extend the same grace to the self.

If you're interested, there is a movie that approaches this dichotomy in an unusual sort of way...

It's quite long but James Caan plays a starring role in the final chapter--that in itself was enough to make me watch ;

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Wed 13th Mar 2019 12:58

Most wonderfully the recounting of the past does not minimize the impact of this David. To describe such experiences and feelings is a part of a healing process, although this sounds glib I know. To grow through and away from such things is just part of a bigger picture, unframeable, unnameable.

It touches on the intimacy and dislocation of our flesh and blood , something I have not really experienced. There's a thought in itself.

Just to name a lovely line: a battleship of sorrow.


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keith jeffries

Wed 13th Mar 2019 11:32


I have never had children but with this poem you have enabled me to enter into something quite intimate which previously I had only ever imagined. A sensitive and well crafted poem.

Thank you for this


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Wolfgar Miere

Wed 13th Mar 2019 11:28

For the sake of contrast.

My sons favourite song back then was this.

He was not yet a teenager but appreciated Morrissey, a dad could not be more proud. Although looking back it was great and I instilled Cosa Nostra values it seems Morrissey has become a strange promoter of some rather unsavoury political ideas. So be it I still love him, and me and my boy still love this song and have a blood oath to the death.

<Deleted User> (21487)

Wed 13th Mar 2019 10:38

The depth of this poem constricts my throat.
It is too personal and too sad for any glib comment that I can make.


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