The flowers of the forest
You were lonesome and blue eyed
And so special to us
You should have taken a long break
Instead of a long drop from a high place.
"That Year" by Brandi Carlisle
More than five rugby teams' worth, of men, every week, dead by their own hands,
In these islands.
Young men mostly, three times as many men as women,
Nearly 6000 a year, 60,000 over a decade and....
Employing the traditional routes to oblivion - hanging from a tree, opening the arteries, being free with the pills and booze
A closed garage, exhaust fumes, jumping off high-rise flats, bridges.
With no turning back. No second chances. Sometimes with notes, more often with not.
This virus, this epidemic, this plague, this tragedy, this destroyer-of-families, goes mostly unnoticed.
Nothing about it in the recent election.
We're all busy and...anyway...sotto voce...
After all they're mostly white, working class males
Not the best qualified for life in our society.
The devil take the hindmost and all that.
And anyway didn't Mrs T tell us there is no such thing as society - greed is good - all that.
Mind you, these rough lads have their uses, you know the sort, the sort we rely on in war.
The unsung heroes. That sort.
Those dragged up in 'care', those constantly neglected , over-represented
Those who are hurt easily and never show it - they too, vastly over - represented amongst the fallen
Those who are inarticulate, autistic, bullied - over-represented too.
And every one so precious,
And every one a miracle of love,
And every one in need of a helping hand.