Holly Says Sobriety Is Paying Attention

Orange tabby in the foxglove.
Four beets in a bag.
The poppy’s blocky skeleton.
A net full of mulberries,
                        at the point
                        they let go.

the soft knots
of the crochet.
Begin again.
there’s a lily.
there’s another one.


Copyright © 2023 by Susan Landers. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 12, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets. 

About this Poem

“I wrote this poem about nine months after I stopped drinking alcohol, reveling in the clarity that doing so provides. In a place like the United States, where alcohol is ubiquitous, not drinking is often characterized as some kind of sacrifice, but in reality, it’s the opposite. Sobriety is a gift. It creates space for all the pleasures that come from attending to oneself and the world.”
—Susan Landers