When Will You Learn


Picture this.

A young girl, maybe 5, hiding behind an old, dusty couch with her younger sister. Mommy and daddy are yelling again. Daddy is most likely been drinking. The little girl wonders if the cops will come again. Little sister is crying. The girl tells her everything is alright. This is how every family is. But when will the girl learn, it’s not.

A few years later the girl is 8. It is dark outside when mommy come and wakes her up. It’s the middle of the night and the little girl is confused. Mommy puts her and her sister in the car. Mommy says they have to go pick daddy up from jail. The little girl is scared. Is daddy alright? Why is his car in the driveway but he is in jail? When will the girl learn her dad has a problem?

The girl is 13 now. She has just gone through the most painful thing ever. Her mom packed up and left without one word to them. The girl was angry and upset. Did her mom leave because of her or maybe because dad had a drinking problem. The girl does not want to believe it is because of her dad but when will she learn.

The next few years the girl questions her mother. Why did you leave? Why did you not tell us? Her mother tells her she left because she could not put up with her father. She thought the girl and her sister would come with her. Boy was mother wrong. The girl wonders when mother will learn that the girl cannot leave her father.

The girl is scared that if she leaves her father she will never see him again. She is afraid his alcoholism problem will take his life. What the girl’s father does not know is most nights the girl worries that that day might have been the last one with him. The girl wonders will he ever learn.

The girl is in her freshman year of college. Her daddy did not like her going to school so far away. For the first time the girl saw really how much he loved her. The girl told her daddy that she would see him when she comes home on some weekends. Little did the girl know, her daddy’s problem would cause her to not be able to see him for the next few months. She wonders when her dad will learn from his past.

Every time the girl goes home she wishes her father was there. She wants to be able to give him hugs and tell him about what’s going on at school. Instead the girl can only get to talk to him for maybe 10 minutes every so often of the phone. She misses him so much and she hopes maybe this time he will learn.

The girl is in her last few weeks of her first semester at college. She was asked to write a slam poem. She knew exactly what she would write about. It was going to be a message about how alcoholism affected her family. It was going to be a message to her dad. She was going to ask him when he will learn. She was going to tell him about how she worries about him. how much she loves him, and how much she misses him. She also wants to let him know that’s it’s not too late to get help daddy. Please get help so you can be around for when my sister and I graduate college. Please daddy, do it for us. So daddy, the question everyone wants to know is, when will you learn?


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