The Return of the Drowning Man
I thought he'd gone
but I was wrong.
Weighed down by feelings
he'd sunken deeper inside me.
(Only the darkest passions
live this far down.)
And I could feel
the weight of the ocean over him.
26 December 1987
I have no idea what prompted this poem but the date might be significant, Boxing Day, the day after Christmas and always a bit of an anti-climax. An article in The Irish Times at the end of last year opened with the following statistics:
ONE-in-six people believe Christmas is the loneliest time of the year, according to a survey.
A quarter of people surveyed by the Samaritans said "everything feels worse" over the festive season.
The charity is expecting an upsurge in the number of calls it receives over the holiday period.
The survey also revealed that one in 15 often spent Christmas [alone] while one in 25 said they were with family and friends but actually were alone.
This is nothing new. For years we’ve been aware of the problem.
On the whole this poem feels like it’s missing something and I think this is because by now I was starting to think of The Drowning Man Poems as a set and even though I didn’t have a plan for the sequence I did realise this was just the next logical statement. Maybe when I get to the end I’ll repost the whole group and you can see what you think.