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Photo: Tom Broadbent
Photo: Tom Broadbent
Photo: Tom Broadbent

The evening of your days

I remember


on the other side of a hospice night.

A funeral in my face,

your ghostcandled fatherlight

still laughing, bright,


in the winter of your age.


The world in your ember days

lit up its lights in a biblical rain.

Long and far,

the crack of the night

in that dark throbbing room

showed your four-medal war arms,

your eyeballs stars.

The nightjars were still and did not stir you


when Death in his formal garden

took the bones of my father,

took the hissing skin

that brimmed with disease

in all the mists of that morning,

the dawn

at the edge of his sleep

something last,



Your terminal cry I heard long.


After that, the morning hours ran on.

In a dawn darkly,

on a singing white page

at the rim of my memory,

the long wartime age

of your history

I scrawled:

your lost laugh,

your long love,

all the days of your life –



and never your death at all.