The whiskey stains upon the bar
tell scores of many sad tales.
Of love, loss and tragic lives;
and drink to drown out the wails.

Another dejected, washed out soul
seeks solace within a shot glass,
to wash away the mournful memory
of another heart-broken pass.

Another wheeler-dealer,
another gambling god,
another weary player
bet his life upon the sod.

The rings around his swollen eyes
mark the toll and the tell-tale signs,
the vacant stare; the unshaven chin,
you can read between the dark lines.

Just one more shot to dull the sting
of a life that’s long broken down,
another stiff drink to soothe the scars
of one more tired washed out frown.

He staggers out
into harsh lit streets,
head gently spinning
on unsteady feet.

He knows that it’s near,
he can hear the call,
just over the road
and down past the mall.

Shuffling along
with an unsteady gait,
cell phone ringing,
“Who cares, it can wait”.

Eyes now blind
behind stinging tears
but it’s not enough
to allay his fears.

And there it is
in a hazy dream,
a small footbridge
over a lazy stream.

He grips the rails
with trembling hands,
there’s no point telling her,
she won’t understand.

Then just for a moment
he catches a glimpse
in the soft flowing waters
and it makes him wince.

For the wretch that he sees
is not the man that he knows;
there’s a stranger staring at him
from the dark water below.

With a shuddering sigh
and with tears streaming down,
he’s leaning over;
feet leaving the ground.

For a moment he’s flying,
so alive and so free,
he’s no longer afraid,
just a strange kind of glee.

He doesn’t feel
the welcoming water
as it closes up, overhead.

He doesn’t feel
its clutching chill,
for his soul has already fled.


Written by Darren Scanlon, 25th November 2013.

Revised by Darren Scanlon, 20th September 2016.
© 2016 Darren Scanlon. All rights reserved.


Wow. :open_hands::heart:

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