An Alcoholic’s Tale

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Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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An Alcoholic’s Tale

An Alcoholic’s Tale

Look at me, Ah’m an awfy sight
Disgustin’ drunk aw day and night
Tae you Ah’m just a social blight
Tae be ignored
Anither scourge on aw that’s right
Tae be deplored

But stop a wee while, if ye would
Ah’ll tell ma life, and no’ be crude
Then maybe wance ye’ve understood
Ye’ll gie a hoot
Ah really don’t mean tae intrude
But hear me oot

Ah stertit young, cans of shandy
Stealin’ sips of mither’s brandy
Thinkin’ it wid make me manly
And so grown up
Drinkin’ ony bevvy handy
Then throwin’ up

While two years aff the legal age
Drinkin’ parties were aw the rage
Didnae think there’s ony damage
Gettin’ legless
Ah’d drink until the final stage

When yon ma eighteenth year came roon
Ye’d often find me in the toon
And by the early efternoon
Ah’d be leanin’
Ah’d keep it up tae Ah fell doon
Sick and steamin’

Then just efter Ah left ma teens
Ah met the lassie of ma dreams
Tae love her wis the only scheme
In aw ma life
And fairly soon, or so it seemed
She wis ma wife

Oor life wis grand for umpteen years
In aw that time she had nae fears
Fae pints and haufs Ah kept well clear
Nae exceptions
Ma wife and son tae me were dear
Ma salvation

Fae this perfection, nothin’ lacked
For faimly life Ah had the knack
Then somethin’ hit me such a smack
Ah cried and cried
The blow that knocked me on ma back
Ma wee boy died

Attempts tae cope were aw in vain
Life wisnae life withoot ma wean
Ah found the drink relieved the pain
Ah felt inside
It sent me tae anither plane
Where Ah wid hide

O’er the years since that awfy day
Ah’ve boozed mair than Ah care tae say
Ah’ve lost ma wife, she ran away
Wi’ some close friend
Ah’m no for church, but sometimes pray
For this tae end

Today Ah’ve drank faur mair than eight
That’s why ye see me in this state
Ah wish Ah’d stop and get things straight
And free masel’
An alky’s life’s an awfy fate
A living hell

So noo ye ken whit Ah’ve been through
But you and maist folk huv nae clue
Yez tend tae haud a certain view
Unstained and pure
The drink’ll ne’er cause grief tae you
Of that you’re sure.

Lon McIlwraith

Copyright 1982, 2012


If you have any Poems… Send them to Bill

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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