I would like to apologise for
the afternoon when, while retrieving
my favourite fold-out stripy chair
from the shed which you organised
so, from outside, the windows were
neatly peopled with spade handles, rollers,
handlebars unlikely ever again to be gripped –
I imagined you dead in order to
compose a premature elegy
though I can guarantee
you would have approved of the part
where I went on about how oil in locks,
on cogs and hinges, dries up,
directing attention to the small things,
the nitty gritty of days that you attend like a surgeon.
You have greased our way.
It was full of thanks.
it strikes me that this does,
in the manner of stopped watches and clocks,
elegise for real, though
not you, but the me of that moment,
the young dog me, still practising,
still bracketed by all his family.
Another birth shunts us all further from the centre
to an outer edge where we take turns to totter,
soon fall off, a place where
moments weigh double,
a denser gravity slows us
enough for thoughts to take hold and trouble.
Dry runs become the real thing,
though once there was a me
that simultaneously knew but didn’t believe this would happen.
This is an elegy for him.