A Hero to Someone

Writing 201: Day 6 prompt, form and device are – Hero, Ballad, Epistrophe (repeated words appear at the end of lines).

I don’t really like the idea of “Hero”.

The example ballad given was “a taste of Oscar Wilde: And twice a day he smoked his pipe/And drank his quart of beer…” and also thinking of various poets like Dylan Thomas who one is told also liked a drink or two.

I thought of the people I really think of as heroes, who show daily courage, who struggle against illnesses, other sorts of odds.

Recovery – A hero to someone

So twice a day he took a walk
Then drank a cup of tea,
He said ‘let others drink the beer,
The tea will do for me.’
He knew he once had drunk too much
And so the rule of thumb:
Say ‘No and never Yes to beer
I know what I’d become.’

It started out as teenage prank
behind the potting shed,
A beer or three the boys would drink
Before t’was time for bed.
For extra fun there was a banjo
And on it he would strum,
A drink a plink, a plonk or two,
You see what I’ll become.

The banjo boy got all the girls
Beer stopped him being shy,
But then it made him lose his cool
and soon they passed him by.
A maudlin drunkard’s just a fool
His actions pretty dumb.
His love said ‘you are not for me’
Just look what you’ve become.

So very many years went by
The bottle his best friend
Until one day he couldn’t play
and thought this is the end.
For now he followed his false friend
As if it was the drum,
And every day he reached for drink
Though love had hate become.

Until at last he found he hated
beer and self and everything
The banjo lay upon the shelf
Long unplayed but still with string
It caught his eye, he took it down
And he saw what he’d become
And how he once had thought to play
As though his soul had found a home.

Now he plays each day with courage
Each minute heeding stop and think
Sober is a daily journey
Never ever take a drink.
Twice a day he takes a walk
Then he drinks a cup of tea.
For a while he plays the banjo
Makes each day become, to be.


6 thoughts on “A Hero to Someone

    • Thanks. I do a bit of work with people who are recovering from mental illness, and am very conscious of the stigma that is often present. Alcoholics suffer in a similar way, as if they were not having to try hard every day to stay sober, something the rest of us take for granted.

      Liked by 1 person

    • There is a lot of ‘there but for the grace of god’ in life – often people in difficulties have been neither worse nor better than others – I love the way writing poetry somehow manages to say quite a lot, at least sometimes!


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