I am writing this book because we’re all going to die – in the loneliness of my own life. Jack Kerouac
Loneliness. That thin place looking
at something which is three dimensional
but it’s pressed flat against the glass.
I remember the drive
the wild night those spiney trees
lashed senseless in too great a hurry
to drop their leaves. Wondering
if the old blue Ford
would manage the miles.
The dog needing water. Carrying
that stupid pink plastic bowl
across the car-park, then running
running up endless stairs
hearing you long before
I saw you. Nobody ever tells you
how the dying take a breath.
You can’t imagine.
Then the priest – and his shouting
yes he shouted your name loud in your ear
and you opened your eyes, pulled
pin-head pupils to consciousness
little jet beads far back in your head
you dragged them forward, desperate
to hear his words. My daughter…
and your mouth smiled.
I never was so pleased
to see a priest. I got to look
one last time into your eyes.
Your breath moved up your chest
quiet now. For a moment you looked
like you used to look, about to wake
of a morning before we brought you tea,
then that breath moved right up
to the hollow of your throat, just a sigh.
And you’d gone. That’s how it was.