Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Carl “Papa” Palmer

Happy with myself the first time in years,
able to look folks in the face unashamed,
knowing another day has been conquered.

My friends, my family, all proud of me,
of how my life is finally turning around,
all offering hope, support, courage, love.

Each hour counted, each day, each night,
until reaching one solid month, yesterday.
I deserved a night off to reward myself.

So what do I do, I celebrate my success
by doing exactly what got me here in the
first place. Like last time, the time before,

take a taste, tell myself I can stop after
one. Like last time, knew I would not,
could not, and like last time, fail again.

I missed my high, wondered why I ever
stopped, why I started again. When the
low returns, I return. Like the last time,

like the first time, accepted by comrades
sharing my journey of steps and missteps.
Days sober reset. Tomorrow is my goal.

~ The twelve-step program is a set of guiding principles outlining a course of
action for recovery from addiction, compulsion, or other behavioral problem.


Carl “Papa” Palmer of Old Mill Road in Ridgeway, Virginia, lives in University Place, Washington. He is retired from the military and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enjoying life now as “Papa” to his grand descendants and being a Franciscan Hospice volunteer. Carl is a Pushcart Prize and Micro Award nominee. He religiously follows one MOTTO: Long Weekends Forever!


  1. All of our best-laid plans are sometimes blind sided and as we spiral into the funnel of missteps we remember how hard it was to try when it is so easy to forget…

  2. Very nicely done, Carl. Thank you.
    There is always hope as long as there is breath.
    Sadly, some missteps never retrace.

  3. This poem definitely expresses the way most people want to feel in their days, weeks and years. This was written with real feelings for family and life. Lets all live in those foot prints. So very well said.

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