A Million Questions Unanswered

It's just another typical night out with the lads
the beers are flowing 
and shots are being downed
while shamelessly flirting with a hen party
enjoying a night on the town.

See that fella over there?
Aye that's the one
life and soul of the party
filling the air with banter and bravado
a proper man's man
tough as old boots he is.
Captain of his local rugby team
he's got hands like shovels
all the lads respect him
and the ladies?
Well, they love him.

I bet he could landscape a garden in a day
ripping up trees with his bare hands
if they dared to stand in his way
look at him showing off his prowess on the pool table
his smile lights up the place
a face that stands out from the crowd
self-confident, he's a legend of the baize.
Everything is good in the world
a picture postcard of a pissed up party.

Later that night in the taxi ride home
he sits in silence
he'd played a blinder
avoiding rear view mirror glances from the driver.
He sighs loudly unprovoked
staring blankly into the distance
as he curses to himself 
through gritted teeth.

Back home and he's standing in the kitchen
negative thinking
inner voice unflinching
he can feel himself sinking
he wishes he could talk to someone
but instinct kicks in
and he carries on drinking.

At 10 am his pals arrive to pick him
like every Sunday, ready to head to the match
the challenge of playing with a hangover got tougher as they aged
but they always battled through
the way real men are born and raised 
and always told they have to do.
His coat was on the front lawn
the door slightly ajar, 
keys still in the lock from the night before.
His pals laughed and agreed 
last nights session was one of the best they'd had in years.

They walked in to greet him
and found him sitting on the sofa with his head back
an empty bottle of whiskey in his hand
tablets scattered by his feet.

No pulse
No note
No explanation

A million questions


men's healthmental healthpoetrysuicidesuicide awarenesssuicide depression

◄ I Will Stand With You

Super Mum: Another Working Class Hero ►


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Graham Sherwood

Tue 28th Mar 2017 09:11

my father used to say to me about men (who on the surface appeared big strong and unassailable) "they've all got a chin", meaning everyone has a weakness. Sadly those weaknesses are not always physical.

Good work Matthew.


Tue 28th Mar 2017 00:44

The juxtaposition of outer strength and the inner struggles with human need..it's a standout piece on a subject that should be widely recognized within any humanitarian society.


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kJ Walker

Sat 25th Mar 2017 07:38

I didn't see that coming.
but I suppose that is the whole point of it. friends and family of suicide victims don't see it coming.
a very thought provoking piece


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