Who is this Liquid Lady, who has stolen your heart from me?
The one who crept in slowly, then with a fury ran away with thee.
Is she the one who steadily holds a torch to light your path?
Or does she hang among the shadows just to deaden your daily wrath?
Will she be there for you, when discouragement binds your all?
Will she be there to catch you when, in time, you crash and fall?
Has she been there at every turn, to support your every deed?
Has she wept tears of sorrow, when “Cold Distance” was your creed?
Is she the one who held your soul in those letters from your cell?
And, is she the “precious” “sweetheart” you ache to give your name as well?
Is she the one who smiles to bring sunshine to your days?
Is she the one who props you up when your spirit’s in a haze?
Will she be there at your request, to help your family and your friends?
Will she be there beside you when it’s time to make amends?
Oh — what a sweet elixir, this Liquid Lady does behold,
Like Snow White’s polished apple — poison wrapped in liquid gold.
Can she bring to you the comfort of 10 fingers filled with love,
Moving ever gently like the feathers of a dove?
Can she whisper words of comfort to steady your anxious hand?
Can she throw a line of rescue when you feel buried in quicksand?
Does she possess the patience of a soldier standing guard,
With eyes steadfastly focused, never straying from their ward?
She’s like the whaling sirens — to many a shipwreck claimed,
Her venomous bite lies dormant, until its strike does hurt and maim.
This is all such a sad, sad mystery to my heart; I can’t console;
This Liquid Lady who fills you up and ever holds control.
Her grip is made of steel as she casts your heart in ice,
Stripping your emotions lest you wander from her vice.
Maybe once, on my lucky day, she will give me a little look,
Into the heart of that special man who was once my open book.
So I’ll stand aside for now, and let her run her course,
Praying every moment that you’ll ask her for a divorce.
My single wish this morning is that this Lady will fly away,
Before she takes you with her — on — her dying day.
— By Paula, March 2002
— Paula is a Santa Barbara resident and Noozhawk reader who was inspired to share her poem in response to our Prescription for Abuse series. Having experienced substance abuse within her own family and circle of friends, the poem depicts her view of a relationship she once had with a man who became addicted to methamphetamines, which ruined not only his life but brought her to a low she never wishes to experience again.