Opening up about mental health in rural Ireland

A poem to highlight how mental health and grief should be talked about more in rural Ireland, particularly for young men

Written by Anonymous


We Don’t Cry Here In Galway

Fog descended on the land,
So thick and heavy that you couldn’t see the tops of the stone walls,
Guided, only, by the grass that grew in the centre of the boreen,
That lead to the graveyard.

I stood there alone.
People standing at the graves either side of our one.
I did not speak to them,
Nor they to me.

I despised their presence,
Because it meant that I couldn’t cry.
Not until I sat back into the car.
With sunglasses.
Sunglasses and a status yellow fog weather warning.

Yes this is me.
This is me three days before Christmas.
Looking at a grave.
Fixing the flowers.
So that it doesn’t look like I just came to scream.
Because crying isn’t normal.
Not in rural Ireland.
Not even in a rural Irish graveyard.
Not even at the graves of the only people who ever truly loved you,
Three days before Christmas.

Nobody within a ten mile radius of my empty house,
Ever cried in their lives.
I am weak.
I am awkward.
I am often drunk.
I am alone.
I am twenty one year old man.
I am wondering why did I even bother to come home.
Wouldn’t I have been happier listening to midnight Mass in a foreign language?
A thousand miles away?

No. I am happiest looking down at that headstone,
In the certain knowledge that one hundred years from now,
I will be six feet beneath that headstone.


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