Ellie O’Leary, Sally Evans and World Suicide Prevention Day

From the Bottom of the Well

Once I was lost and expected to stay that way
at the bottom of the well.
I looked up –
without a ladder,
without a bucket,
without even a rope.
I was down in a situation
where there was no up.
None of it mattered.
All of it mattered.
There was only one easy way out
but it was final.
I worked my way out,
Building bricks from mud and water
Held together with
Desire Endurance Stubbornness
Drive Patience
Creativity Dignity Wits
I rose from the bottom
hand over hand,
brick by brick.

Ellie O’Leary often writes about growing up in the village of Freedom, Maine. She has won the Martin Dibner Memorial Fellowship in poetry, is the previous host of Writers Forum on WERU-FM, and has taught at Pyramid Life Center (NY) and Belfast (Maine) Senior College. She currently studies poetry in the Stonecoast MFA program. Her memoir in progress is Up Home Again. www.EllieOLeary.com


Who could forget Dickson,
sitting in his Jesmond flat,
telling me,
A friend called round,
he was going to kill himself.
What did you do? I said.
Dickson smiled.
I gave him a banana.

Now Dickson is dead,
after a long and valuable life
keeping others on the track.

Sally Evans lives in Callander, Scotland. She is editor of Poetry Scotland and the new zine https://keeppoemsalive.wordpress.com/2015/08/08/keep-poems-alive-2/. She has published many poems in magazines and books and now often in internet zines. Dickson is a vignette of a long-ago friend.


1 thought on “Ellie O’Leary, Sally Evans and World Suicide Prevention Day”

  1. I’ve just managed to catch up and read the four poems already posted – all varied and moving. So glad you are giving a voice to this really important subject, one which most people find very hard to talk about and yet which touches most of us in one way or another. Thanks for letting poetry be that voice.

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