As mentioned in my previous post, I have another Free Poem. I am too kind, I know. This one was written about ten years ago and it serves as an accompliment to the other poem about Death I placed on here.
Those Left Behind
What do you say about a man you hardly knew
And in your span was in view
At family events or with my dad for a sunday brew?
What do you say about a man who hardly knew you?
But knew enough to swipe
At the arrogance of academics and youth.
What can you say when he’s not there?
Those left behind are never prepared
And stories of his youth don’t relate.
What do you say when you don’t want to go?
But, seven days later
You have a box on your shoulder.
What do you say to those younger?
Who have seen death but need closure
When all you can offer is a stronger shoulder.
When in the silence of the viewing room
And the buzz of the lights and the shell you hardly knew
Lies there questioning you – what do you say?
What do you say to a distraught father
When you’ve shed no tears?
And you won’t because you ought to.
What do you say when standing at the front
Lines and rollers burning the nape
But you can’t think of a damn word to say
What do you say to the man you hardly knew?
Sorry, you was there
Without ever actually being there wasn’t you?
When memories are mentioned,
When times and friendships and loves
Are anecdotes and fables
When “I’m sorry” is empty,
When you search for meaning
And find nothing.
When relatives grieve
And you just want to leave –
But you can’t and you won’t
Matt Bolton, 2002