The Death of You

Leaning on your shoulder
To keep from falling down,
I made it to your pickup,
And we headed out of town.

I’d wound up in a barroom
They call the Honeycomb;
That’s where you thought you’d find me
And came to take me home.

We trundled down the highway
When a car came round the bend
And killed not just my brother
But my foremost, lifelong friend.

Though only nine months younger,
I was twice as wild.
I’d always been in trouble,
Even as a child.

But you were in my corner.
You stood up for me, too.
My life would have been harder
If it hadn’t been for you.

But now I’ve got no brother
To help me off and on,
And so I’ve had to grow up
Now you are dead and gone.

And now I’m at your graveside,
But it doesn’t feel the same
As when our parents passed on;
Then I was not to blame.

And everyone is careful
Not to look me in the eye.
They know I know it’s my fault;
You didn’t have to die.

If you had not come looking
And left me in that bar,
You wouldn’t have been driving
And got hit by that car.

For me to leave off drinking
Is the least that I can do.
But that won’t make a difference –
Won’t bring back life to you.

I’d always said my drinking
Would be the death of me
And didn’t take much notice
When you would disagree.

But now I can’t stop thinking
That what you said was true:
My drinking didn’t kill me;
It was the death of you.

My drinking days are over,
And I wonder if you knew
That that would not have happened
But for the death of you.

Photo by Adrian Swancar on Unsplash

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