The Drunk

The Drunk


The Drunk meanders his way home

His stooped, swaying gait

Mostly hidden by the

Darkness of the night

But then, he is suddenly thrown

Into sharp relief

By passing headlights

And the neon pool of a street lamp

Scornfully watching his slow progress –

Three steps forward

Sway, one step sideways

When he finds himself

In the middle of the road, puzzled

Headlights and horns

Blaring like an angry Mardis Gras

He stands stock-still

Frozen in that moment

Then self-preservation kicks in

As he staggers head first

Like a dragged mountain goat on a tether

Makes the pavement and staggers on

Into the privets of a garden

He tries to straighten himself up

And on erratic tiptoes

Drunkenly pirouetting

Towards his home

Finally arrives, leaning against

The portal for support

And after much fumbling in his

Worse for wear trousers

He extracts his door keys

Locating the lock

By the use of ‘door brail’

He tries doggedly to

Get the key in the lock

Remembering himself as a

Child playing at ‘Fighter Pilot’

Trying to get the jet into the hanger


He says to himself

But misses again.

Suddenly, the door opens

And with his wooden support gone

He falls on to the carpeted hallway floor

His wife in nightie and slippers

Stands over him, expression of resignation on her face

‘Oh God kill me now’ he thinks

She calmly closes the door

Puts him in the ‘recovery position’

Throws a blanket over him

And goes to bed, mumbling

About how her mother was right

‘Exhausted’ after his efforts of the evening

And knowing he is not welcome

In the marital bed tonight

He falls asleep right there

Soundly snoring

His body surrounded by a fug –

A mixture of alcohol, sweat and urine

Happy as a pig in slop

Tomorrow’s hangover and

The strange scratches on his arms

(He won’t remember getting from the privets)

And the withering looks from his wife

A problem for the future

He is in the arms of Morpheus

And wrapped in alcohol induced optimism

© Kate McClelland 2016

Photo Pixabay


30 thoughts on “The Drunk

  1. Awww thanks Shehanne, you’re very kind to say that.
    Unfortunately, it’s a very dull bulb with intermittent light surges, unlike your constant bright illuminations :0).
    I don’t tend to put much ‘out there’ as this site is awash with fantastic writers and it’s scary!
    If you are interested (and it’s okay if you’re not) I have some stuff on Thanks again Shehanne :0)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am interested my darling. Listen, always remember, people bring different things to the table. It is so easy to stand there toeing the floor thinking, I’m not in that class, to forget we all occupy different rooms xx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. LOL!! Well just remember you are as good as anyone else. This is an acutely observed piece of work in every respect. There’s nice imagery and because it is so true it’s funny in places but devastating in other bits. So don’t you go hiding yourself thinking I’m not as good as others who are out there. Think of your strengths x

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think you must have been watching me come home from a night out, in London, in 2001!
    Great stuff indeed, very perceptive.
    And thanks for following my ‘other blog.’
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I quickly “liked” this earlier for support – and I’m so glad I finally made the time to return to do more than a hasty scan. Your words brought the drunk to life, but what I loved most was the cadence – it mimics the drunken stumble. Good job (and super illustration too).

    I agree with Shehanne: “how wonderful today to read YOU, especially in something so very true to life.” We all appreciate your supportive reblogs, but we want to read much more of YOU her on WordPress as well (at least this part of “we” is calling for that 🙂 )

    Also agree with her that this is a distressing poem that is difficult to “like.” So sad that so many are trapped in drunken hazes night after night – and that so many “mothers were right.” Sad, too, that demon rum is acceptable while peaceful MaryJane is demonized – at least here in the used-to-be-good ole’ USA.

    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Madelyn. A lot of people live with this day in day out. If it’s not alcohol. it’s drugs, anorexia, gambling, shopaholic, any other combination. It’s the unseen impact on countless families who are trying to just get on with their lives but have someone they love in this situation. It’s heart breaking as you know that the people involved would give up everything to help the person trapped in addition, but don’t know how to save them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well said – and heartbreaking.

        We see quite a bit of substance abuse among ADD/EFDers who are self-medicating. Friend and colleague Wendy Richardson based an entire book on this issue: The Link Between ADD & Addiction. Old, but still relevant – available used on Amazon most of the time (I know this because my own copy gets loaned but is rarely returned).

        It makes me crazy that many too many people will turn to illicit substances, yet are fearful of appropriately prescribed pharmaceuticals.

        There but for the Grace of God . . .

        Liked by 1 person

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