Crossbow Oblivion

He just stood up silently one day
in the beer garden of ‘The Old Apple Tree’
and walked back to his Mother’s in Bryncoch.
No suicide note,
never answered the “Hello, Love!”
as he walked up the stairs
to his childhood bedroom.
She told the police and paramedics
that she just heard a ‘dull, heavy thud’
and found him laying upon the floor,
still clutching the crossbow in one hand.
It had actually snapped his wrist
with the awkwardness of the fall.
They removed the bolt from his head
but he was in a coma for weeks,
touch and go it was, but he made it.
The after-effects were similar to a stroke,
his right arm now dangles almost useless.
Nearly eighteen years old
and once a promising guitarist.
He never told anybody ‘Why?’
just recovered and got on with life.
That was twenty-five years ago,
I saw him in a pub up Gorseinon
last Saturday playing in a punk band.
He can’t pluck or strum
but the noises he gets out of that instrument
by banging on it are incredible.
I was right up the front going psycho
and punched a ceiling tile in half
out of love, respect and enthusiasm for him.
Everyone gets low, we’ve all been there
but a ‘Fighter’ always comes back Stronger.

Paul Tristram is a widely published Welsh writer who deals in the Lowlife, Outsider, and Outlaw genres.  He wrote his first poem as a teenager following his release from the (Infamous) Borstal ‘HMP Portland’, and he has been creating Literary Terrorism ever since. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.