The Quest for Happiness (A Poem)

A painting by my mother, Margaret Plumb.  It makes
me imagine a journey through dark, dangerous places
that still have hope of light and color.  
I have searched for you in the depths of my needs  
In the bedsheets of a hundred loves sought
and in the breath of insipid kisses
with lesser beings. 

You elude me like a high from illicit content
Withheld like withdrawal
Of substances supposing to do
Something better than depress

So pour me another drink, and yet another,
And hit me up with that antidote
That your brother’s girlfriend
Swears her life by. 

Is this thy precious elixir?
Of endless laughs, and smiles that will
Not break at the end of a long day
When sleep won’t come from thoughts undone.

Roads not taken, and dreams deferred
And I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.
Damn you Dad for the words
You said to me that day.

I limp through this life with the crutches of
A thousand sins of the father.
Sans the constants and peace that a
daddy should supply cause he was all sold out.   

And this emptiness isn’t replaced
By the world’s distractions and neon lights
And no matter where I tap her precious
reserves, all I find is dead preserves. 

Oh how I want to be like they look on tv
All laugh tracks and happily-ever-afters
And lessons learned with nary a scar or
Afterthought of deeds done in the dark. 

Is there a man or a woman, or a food
Or a wine, or a politician
Or a product with guarantees to
Exonerate sins until they are undone? 

No. No, there is only You.  Who promises to
Love me unquestionably despite the foolish
Acts I’ve done in want of brief reprieve.
You who has loved me, unwaveringly from the start.

*(I don't write a lot of poetry, and when and if I do, it is usually very private. 
But for whatever reason I felt inspired to jot this down.  I haven't edited it much,
as it seems more personal when I leave the flaws of my thought process intact. And 
although the emotions are personal, the story is not my own personal story, nor is this inspired by my own father, who is a loving, caring, and great man).  

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