• Louisa Keogh

Poetry: Ah sure, you know yourself.

A poem exploring male friendships, masculinity and men's mental health

After school when I left, I saw him on weekends for a pint and a laugh,

His humour never faltered; he’d be the last to leave the gaff.

He played for the local team, his name roared from every stand,

Even when he missed a shot, it’s wasn’t a bother, always grand.

The family are well-known through the community and beloved by all,

The mam and dad drive buses and make the sandwiches, his little brother gathers the balls.

He works here and there, growing up and getting by,

Not the type to get emotional, but who is? He’s a guy.

We spoke briefly the other day, he told me he was good.

I believed him and did not question, though thought later maybe I should;

But then it was far too late for chats, what I knew of him long passed,

The worst had already happened, a dull face and tinted glass.

A light extinguished, grief and tears,

The avoided conversation ended with the unknown fear.

Turns out the money problems at home were getting to the chap.

He’d no idea that he wasn’t alone, we’re all dealing with that crap.

The pub had become a nightly thing, the pressure just too much.

His kids were growing without him, the drink became a crutch.

Check on your mates; the fellas, the boys, the lads.

It can be awkward and discouraged, but trust me you’ll be glad.

Society will not protect those we lean on so,

Just reach out and support those who are feeling low.

© 2020 by EMPWR

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