She used to only call me when she was drunk,

or in need of some way to be herself,

to flop down on whatever couch or bed

I had in the spare room

for five minutes and allow the weight

of the world to be unfurled and hung out to dry.

When she was drunk I could cope, she was never there for long,

and always courteous to my own need for space.

When she was sober, she would wheedle her way into my head and dare

me to go to places that I could not afford to go,

places that I once

considered I should be all the time,

but on my own,

not with her.


She hasn’t touched a drop

in a while so when she pops round,

she stares at me, the reflection in her face is marred by the sceptic,

septic, infected bitterness

look in mine and she promises the Earth to which I know is just

playing Lear’s Fool but in which Lear is the Fool and she is rightfully Queen.

Would I have ever not been without her in my life,

she is perhaps a better person

than I? She is the one to blame for so many things

good and bad,

but she has never caused upset, for life never made her that way.

I have introduced her to some but I cannot abide her when she flirts

openly with them, for I know they look at me with pity at having

such a friend.

I have never allowed her to spend the entire day with me,

for I’m sure

she would drive me insane.


Ian D. Hall 2015