A LifeRing Keeper: A Poem From an Irish Convenor

Philip H., a LifeRing convenor in Belfast, Northern Ireland, wrote this chilling poem about his late former wife:


Two dead mice.

One fresh, one slowly desiccating. Its head chewed, eyeless.

A new lock on the dingy door and new keys.

Inside the wooden floor was covered in something dark, like tar.

A chair upended.

Bottles, more bottles, one open, musty smell.

An expensive wine glass with some wine left.

Defiance and style to the end.


Is the glass half empty , or half full, or twice as big as it needs to be?.

I smile at my obsessive thinking and gently pour the wine outside the door.

The mice are still there.

A final symbolic act, closure? control at last. If only…

Trust herself to use an expensive glass for her last drink.

I look closer, wedding present.


A heaviness in my chest. I looked at her chair where she was found lifeless.

I sit.

Guilt and sorrow. I tried to help but had to go. This was no way to die, alone.

Bottles, bottles and more bottles. Powerlessness.

When did she die? We don’t know……..

The when doesn’t matter

The loneliness does………..