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The stains upon the bar

tell of many sad tales

of love, loss and tragic lives;

and drink to drown out the wails.


Another washed out soul

seeks the solace of the glass,

to wash away the memory

of another broken pass.


Another wheeler-dealer,

another gambling god,

another weary player

bet his life upon the sod.


The rings around his eyes

mark the toll of tell tale signs,

the vacant stare, unshaven chin,

you read between the lines.


Just one more shot to dull the sting

of a life that’s breaking down,

another drink to hide the lines

of another washed out frown.


He staggers out

onto 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 back

from dark waters 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 water

as it closes overhead,

he doesn't feel the chill

for his soul has already fled.


Written by Darren Scanlon, 25th November 2013.

Revised 12th July 2015.

© 2013 Darren Scanlon. All rights reserved.





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