Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Poem: Billy

It was not that kind of loss.
Not like those gone before who left me,
breathless and broken in my grief.
Someone took me to one side and whispered it
you had succumbed at last to the dying,
that everyone knew was coming.

Quietly sad, I thought about about
laughing with you while we smoked outside.
Snatches of your life told to me in illicit puffing.
This shared habit having us hide out back in the rain.

You reminded me of my grandad, 
of an older Ireland and men
in crisp white shirts with dirty collars.
A few pints after work and a way of telling,
the saddest stories that made them a comedy.

I brought you books to keep you occupied,
while you watched the door.
Playing with your incredulity by replacing
murder mystery with modern philosophy.
Delighted to have you give them back, 
read and pronounced bullshit.

Gruff and unyielding in old fashioned prejudices,
there was a kindness to you
that made them harmless.
An unobtrusive goodness,
that the world is worse for losing.

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