By Peter W.


The grand old man of Recovery

Lay dying - many gathered at his side

That disease which knows neither rhyme nor reason

Had taken him for a final ride

And he'd woken up in a dingy basement

Where he'd been willing to sell his soul

Stumbling to his weary feet

He'd crawled out of that awful hole

And asked to go to detox

But they told him he wouldn't survive

With heart and body feeble

He'd never emerge alive

"And for what would I be living

If I carried on as I am now?

Feeding this awful disease

And being an example of how to bow

Before the alter of addiction

Deep in the darkest hell

Let me die trudging Freedom's road

If there's a chance for me to get well."

So they let him once more into detox

Where he would start a healing climb

And he gazed at the door of the washroom

Where he knew he'd spend some time

Then squaring his shoulders he stepped forward

And hung his head to pray

Asking God to grant him courage

If only "Just For Today"

For soon would be pain and purging

Which he hadn't felt for a decade or more

But he was determined to be clean and serene

When he showed up at Heaven's Door

For the next few days the pain came

At times a minute an hour seemed

At times he didn't know what was tangled vision

And what he'd only dreamed

Attendants fed him and gave him water

Changing his sheets again and again

'Till the sickness faded as it must

And he felt snug as a bear in it's den

But his heart was no longer the same

As that long ago other time

Attendants said an ambulance must be summoned

As he began the Steps for a final time

Told of being powerless

And how unmanageable his life had been

Then with quavering voice he described miracles

Which he'd been and known and seen

While in another room a newcomer

Ceased his restless pacing of the floor

And dashing into the hallway

Headed for the exit door

Running in fear from Recovery

And back to his existence of strife

But pausing when he heard a weak voice

Ask God to take his will and his life

Pausing for a minute in the hallway

He heard that last secret the old man did hide

The one that had taken that grand old man

For his final hell bound ride

Then a wheezy tired voice

Asked for a cleansing of the soul

Spell bound the frightened newcomer

Felt his feet grow rooted to the earth

As the old man thanked de-tox's attendants

For their help in this final rebirth

And as the approaching ambulance siren

Could be heard in the distance afar

A feeble voice muttered through inventory

Admitting it was wrong to play Recovery Czar

The old man was so tired

That he could only pray and meditate

And the attendants knew the ambulance arrival

Would surely be too late

Old eyes opened but briefly

A spiritual awakening shone for all to see

Then they closed once more for a final time

As his soul slipped away and was free

Then the newcomer called in the door

As he firmly turned from his doom

"He also did the second part of Step Twelve

Would someone help me to my room?"

Then stumbled along with helping hands

That firmly and kindly reached out

He heard the awesome silence

That was a triumphant shout


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2004 Bob Ramstead/12 Step Cafe. All rights reserved