As part of our Look After Your Mate campaign, we held a creative writing competition on the theme of ‘friendship’ in partnership with The Student Wordsmith. This is the second of our winning entries, a poem called “A Friend, in Two Parts” by Rose Walker.
A Friend, in Two Parts
by Rose Walker
When I started uni, my mind was set.
I was starting again, brand-new and fresh!
I didn’t need to tell every person I met
that sometimes I get down –
Instead, I wanted to the follow the packs, the herds,
and for them to think I was totally cheery.
Who wants a friend that constantly seems dreary?!
But you, you were different – cool and kind, and
I made you laugh (I really tried)
because I wanted you at my side.
Gradually I began to hint
in just the briefest of words
that sometimes, but not always, I found things hard.
That I’d overdosed,
just the year before,
that the pain of the memory was still pretty raw.
Yet now, when life gets tough, again,
you hold me up. With
late night food and Skype, phone calls and hugs,
your prescription worked better than any drug.
You didn’t shy away, ignore me, or run, and
You help me to realised that life is still fun.
You held my hand when I’d given up hope, and
you gave me the jolt that helped me to cope.
Beyond all, you’re my blessing, and
My steadfast conviction is
that life can be fair.
Rose Walker is a final year university student who is passionate about both writing and mental health. She describes this competition as a ‘dream to be involved in’ as a result of this and suggests that the more we talk about mental illness, the more we realise how common it is. It is nothing to be afraid of.