Poem: Obituary

Don’t we all wonder how our lives will be assessed when we die?

January 2014

It is too late now
for my death
to be an early one
or even untimely.

I can see myself
lying for a couple of nights
in a small town undertakers’ back room
or in a hospital morgue in a filing cabinet,
with a labelled toe
like in the movies.

Years ago,
young men,
a little punky,
would bring me buff dockets
serving me the yellowy clippings
really quite like autumn leaves
of older men’s lives
in PA’s press cutting library.

Trollied without obsequies
into the furnace,
or even studied or reused,
I shall be beyond making a difference
to how I’m seen.

I hope I have avoided
having unfulfilled promise
or being my own worst enemy
or attaining the merely maverick
or contrarian.

I don’t dread the malign
and mildly aspire
to the friendly or the fond,
and if need be
the tolerant and amused.

I know how the world of the dead
lives in my head and that a wake
or appearing in someone’s dream
or at their elbow while they walk
may be quite enough.

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Publication date

29 January 2014


RDN's poems