Forward to next poem

Back to last poem

Back to J. Brookes page

Youíve clearly had it, and my duty quickly done
I farewell awkwardly and step back out to where
your wife as thin as weeks of worry sits alone
with crumpled Kleenex in her velvet armchair,
apologise for something, smile and leave. The world goes on
and will do after we poor grave-sized things
have left for Thornhill in that weeping limousine,
when caterers have cleared the pies and chicken wings
and mates who thought they ought to and brought in
the Echo or the landlordís latest daft one-liner
have drawn new team lists up for skittles nights in town.
Momentous things up close can turn out minor
as funeral directors in a back room sipping tea
before the next hearse sighs along the bitumen and brakes
beside the tulips in the rain, and this is how it has to be
or how is that same someone dear who sat for weeks
next door beside an ashtray with the TV down
to pack your washed and ironed shirts for Age Concern,
advertise your fishing rods and honky-tonk LPs, then
go on coach tours, take up bingo again.