March 29, 2010

I can’t remember the last time I saw you
I can’t remember the last time we talked
was it the end of the day, or a Tuesday morning?
was I saying hello, or collecting my mail?

You always waved when I was leaving
You always noticed if I’d cut my hair.
When I went to Jamaica I told you.
When I came back home, you were there.

I wish I’d sent you a postcard on holiday
I wish I’d brought you some coffee
from the Blue Mountain coffee store
You were seeing a woman from Poland

You told me one day in the laundry room.
The letter said there was no pain
it happened on a Saturday,
in a hospital.

The other guy said it was bone cancer
you didn’t tell anyone,
just carried on coming into work.

I wish I’d known
when I was doing my washing
I wish I’d known,
when I was collecting my mail.

This evening I smiled
at the woman in the stairwell
I said goodbye
to the consiege.

I didn’t know you had children in Devon
or that your sister was a pastor.
I can still remember your glasses,
red skin, small hands, white hair.

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