M

Memory for Shelagh

 

after he had gone she lost

gradually

the letters from her name until

the M that launched her as a daughter

was left alone

stranded in the space that F

had shared, enjoined with her

 

Then she slipped away

clinging to that sense of loss

and enters now the land of shadows

and hints

that we can’t change

and so we reminisce

counting clocks and changing faces

 

the links of a family alerted

by her leaving

draw more tightly on the letters

in their own names

like pearls or beads that hold us fast

together in a daisy chain

of sadness and hope

Get over it

Get over it

Get over it

 

I am the hole in my entirety

A doubt in the mass of humanity

 

Each breath I take, a rehearsal

For another crack at dismal

 

I am tension in taught wires

A cough in the orchestra pit

 

All of me spot-lit and disappearing

In simpering pools of shame

 

On some well trodden stage

Flecked with dust and grease paint

 

The motes of haunted fabric

Gauzy in the lights

 

And I wait

For somebody to find me out

 

A specialist of the shadows

A spectre of the show

 

To heckle

And shout my name.