Poem Published in “Grasslimb”

"Methadone" by Erick MertzMy son was born late last October. He took his name in part from my late uncle Edward. Family came to the surface quite often.

Not consciously. Mostly it came in poetry.

My father and his brother were both addicts. Uncle Eddie drank. I remember his pay phone calls at strange hours. My father didn’t drink. He was a heroin user who I now believe moved from New York out to Oregon so he could quit cold turkey and escape the drug’s allure.

When I was a child, my mother worked on Saturdays. My father and I would drive from our home in Oregon City into downtown Portland for what I thought was bookstore shopping. Turns out the methadone clinic (in the same building as Mary’s Club) was our real destination. At five years old, maybe six, all I did was look out the window, believing what we were doing.

I wrote the poem “Methadone” about those curious memories. Not necessarily the realization that my father was a drug user though. I wrote about being along for the ride.

It took nearly three months to send those poems out. On Saturday, I received word that Grasslimb wanted to publish the work. I was with my son in a record store.

I am looking forward to it’s featured release coming soon.