Apparently, September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Or last week was National Suicide Prevention Week. Or something like that. In honor of that, I'd like to post a poem I wrote a while back that's actually a parody of "Another Irish Drinking Song" by Da Vinci's Notebook. Written from Rowan's perspective, the poem details his backstory as well as his mental state between the first and second books. If you haven't read Where I Stand, go ahead and skip this poem. Major spoilers ahead!
When I lived in Mount Shannon as a lad of just thirteen,
I came down with a headache so pure fierce I couldn't see.
My parents and my siblings all came down with headaches too,
So Mum and Da and Maeve and Padraig died of typhoid flu.
I took my sister Libby and we left that cursed town,
We hoped and fought and prayed so that our luck would turn around.
Consumption came and took that lovely lass away from me,
I tried to follow, but I picked the wrong confounded tree.
By God's grace, I got married, and we had a daughter fair,
We gave our lass a sister with her mother's golden hair,
But then the scarlet fever came and took our baby girl,
Our only solace in the fact she's too pure for the world.
When we had done some crying, Cait gave me a baby boy,
And then another girl so that our home was full of joy.
But then the Vikings came, the monsters tore our home apart,
They took my wife and killed our babe and broke my aching heart.
Once more, I took a rope, prepared to see my Savior's face,
A storm came up, deterring me in a strange act of grace.
I should have left my children with their uncles and their aunts.
I couldn't bear to leave them, so they joined my sorry dance.
From town to town we wandered, always hungry, cold, and poor,
I couldn't keep a job to keep the debtors from our door,
We tried to sail to Scotland fair and turn our fate around,
We met up with a storm and then my oldest daughter drowned.
Perhaps I'll take a rope again, perhaps I'll fly away,
Perhaps heaven is nigh to me, but I won't go today.
My son's still young and needs me, and I want him hale to grow.
It seems that God still wants me here, but why I do not know.
Seven years have gone away since Vikings took my bride,
Four of those I searched for her, travelling far and wide.
It was two years last September that my daughter sailed away.
They never quit the earth, though, and I held them both today.
My son has got his mother back, my daughter's got her da,
The joy I feel makes up for all the years spent low and sad,
The next time troubles taunt me, I'll keep my feet on the ground,
For God, it seems, takes pleasure in turning fate around!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.