It’s New Year’s Eve

Paddy’s gone to a party
Dad wants Mam
to go down the club with him,
she’s hesitating, making excuses,
Haway, Marie, it’s only once a year
my Mam comes out and has a bevvy
yer divvent want ter miss it.

Mam doesn’t want to leave Frankie
all alone,
I’ll be alreet Mam, I’ve got me phone.
She gives him a look,
I’d rather stay at home Frankie smiles
I cannot be fashed with noise and folk.
I’ll watch a DVD instead.

He feels like shite.
he wants to be on his own tonight.
He’s got it planned:
four bottles of Vodka Ice
a brand new blade
(a Stanley Knife he gave to Dad for Christmas)
He locks the bathroom door
runs the hot until it’s steamy
peesl off his clothes and starts.
He slides into the water,
his skin goes pink,
He take a swig
his insides fizz.
Holding the blade,
carefully he draws a line
thin and red, the blood
flows like tiny tributaries
into the sea – letting the badness out
Another drink,
sinks lower, slicing the blade
again and again, it stings
but drinking numbs the pain,
until the bath’s a bloody mess.
He’s all dizzy, the blade is slippy
in his fingers, he’s light-headed
wondering if he’ll go too far,
wondering Do I care?

Then Mam is hammering on the door:
Frankie! Let me in, you hear?
Dad busts it open with his shoulder
God Almighty! Is he dead?
Frankie turns his head and laughs
No Dad – just havin a bath.
Mam kneels beside him
her eyes are full,
Ah Frankie, love, why?
then they both break down and cry.

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