The following poem and the “prompt” for other writers invites us to write about the power of alcohol to creep into our fantasies. I love fancy, romantic names of small wineries. They remind me of plazas in Europe and cheery red umbrellas, two glasses of wine and a dark-eyed stranger who thinks I am beautiful, mysterious, and irresistible.

I’ve been advised not to romanticize that which will kill me. The following poem is based on a true story of a murder that happened in Connecticut in which the accused husband claimed his wife had left him to escape her life. The scene at the end is my fantasy about escaping to drinking at a bar.

If I Should Disappear…


Helle Crafts, a Swedish flight attendant,

told all her friends: If I should disappear,

don’t think it’s an accident. Don’t believe

 I flew home to Sweden or took off with a pilot


to start again in Barcelona. I’d never leave my girls

with Richard Crafts. Death splashed in the news:

murdered, stuffed in her freezer, then pulverized

like kindling in a chipper,


raining bits of body in the murky water

of the Housatonic. Her only trace: a tooth,

some strands of long blond hair, a fragment

of a bright red fingernail.


As I stare at February’s dirty snow, knowing

I am going nowhere, I tell my precious daughters,

whom I would never leave, and my husband,

who probably won’t murder me:


If I should disappear, don’t think it’s an accident.

I’ll be in Barcelona, flirting at a tapas bar,

on my 5th Cinzano, dangling a high-heeled sandal,

nibbling olives, savoring the salt.

Read more from Christine Beck’s book, Beneath the Steps: A Writing Guide for 12 Step Recovery—available for purchase on Amazon.

1 Comment

  1. Wow …. I grew up in Newtown and we had keg parties close to her home. Ice skated on her remains before we knew about it. Creepy coincidence as I don’t usually read these type of emails. Message received- C

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