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This poem is a true story from my time as a brewery rep. I was only 24 years old at the time, but the memory of what I saw will not leave me.
I enjoy a drink, but alcoholism is such a tragic sight to behold.


Dscn0013by Blogpoet03 May 2014

It was the seventies,
I was in Battersea, as yet undiscovered
SW11 was strictly for the poor
It's architecture a drab, uninspiring eyesore
Word went round that a pub was doing 'afters'
No all-day service then, so I wandered along
Nice way to kill the afternoon
Until pubs officially opened again.

Pub found in I went
What a crowd, what a selection
Of men whose word would not be their bond
Camel overcoats were 'de rigueur'
Worthless handshakes the prime accessory.
Still, business was good, the beer pumps
And optics were pouring money into the till
And the customers were enjoying their illegal fill.

Then this little world
Came shuddering to a silent halt
A man with a raw Glaswegian accent
Empty glass held aloft
Shouted "I want a fuckin' double"
The sad face worn by the middle-aged
Attractive brunette behind the bar
Bore no anger at the man, only pity
It was her husband.

He was the landlord, ex CID
Spent all his retirement money
On a little business that he could enjoy
After years in the Met's employ,
What had he seen
What had tipped him over the edge?
Maybe his wife knew
I think she still loved him.

But he was now a husk,
A container for alcohol's poison
Vital organs liable to fail because of his lust
For oblivion and maybe self loathing
A bag of skin around bones
No real meal taken for ages
Only the whisky, neat as it comes
Corroding his brain
Coupled with cigarettes to ruin his lungs.

What happened next? - I don't know
Was there a happy ending
I don't think so.
Life is cruel and doesn't need any help
To ruin your dreams, that's it's twist
So offering it a hand with a self-destruct wish
Will only speed up a process
That we'd all rather ditch.