David Lewis Paget (22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)
Down & Out!
He suddenly felt he was down and out,
He'd been down and out before,
The time that his wife had packed her trunk
And sallied out through the door,
There are things that leave a bitter taste
And to lose a wife was one,
To lose another was carelessness
But that's what the fool had done.
How often she said it would end like this
But it fell on empty air,
Each time she'd started to rave, he'd run,
She'd turn and he wasn't there.
He'd go and drink in the local pub
Or gamble a hefty sum,
And roll back home with an empty clip
No money, and just as dumb.
She didn't wait ‘til he came back home
On the night she packed her bags,
He turned the corner and she sailed by
In the Taxi of Randolph Skaggs,
He walked on in to an empty house
The carpets gone from the floor,
His footsteps echoed into the hall
And up to the second floor.
She'd left his dinner, cold on a plate
With a note from Shiralee,
‘You'd better enjoy this cold collate
It's the last you will get from me! '
She'd signed her name with a flourish then,
And left him a last P.S.,
‘I'm halfway sorry it ends like this
But I guess it's just for the best.'
He sat in the dark with misty eyes
‘Til the clock had struck midnight,
He couldn't get up to save his life,
Not even to turn on the light,
He felt that he'd failed in everything
He'd not even given her kids,
The doctor said he was firing blanks,
He couldn't win one for quids.
His mind roamed over the past few years,
‘Did anything come out right? '
The silence settled and sparked his fears
In the depths of that lonely night,
He found the bottle of scotch he'd hid
And savoured the Single Malt,
Then drank it all, as he always did,
‘Had everything been his fault? '
He staggered up to the attic room
Looked under the fold-up bed,
Then picked up one of the guns he kept
And held it up to his head,
He thought that Death with its open arms
Would resolve his problems, quick,
Then pulled the trigger with screwed up eyes,
But all that he heard was ‘click! '
He frowned, and picked up another gun
The first one must have misfired,
Then tried again for a second ‘click! '
He suddenly felt so tired,
He found the note that his wife had left,
‘You ought to be giving me thanks!
You're such a dope, but I love you still…
I loaded your guns with blanks! '
19 March 2013
Comments about this poem (Down & Out! by David Lewis Paget )
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