Drop-in centre. Photos Manuel Capurso, poems Roisin Tierney (1/5)

© Manuel Capurso 2011.

The Suicides by Roisin Tierney:

Softly they settle round me now,
gentle birds come home to roost,
dropping and shuffling one by one
onto the desk, open drawers,
heaped directories, nursing tracts.
They do not breathe and yet we might
be swapping breath, in for out,
so close they are, so present.  They
are weightless, obviously and yet,
so great their need, or mine, we press
forehead to forehead one by one,
each for a second only, until
we have all touched.  The hospital,
Victorian and beautiful, is still.
My list is cruel.  Their various ends-
Hanged. Fell from a height. Overdose.  etc.
make for hard reading. Some were very young.
Many received the best of care.  I sigh.
We, the Suicides and I, put down
our books, pens, burdens, leave the building.

© Roisin Tierney

All the poems in this series are from Dream Endings, by Roísin Tierney, Rack Press 2011, and used by permission.