I was unaware then
but something ravined
when they carted you off.
Your halcyon face; how could they do this?
(Well he’ll soon have to know
that his wants will be thwarted.)
I knew all would be glossed over,
the memories extinguished,
feelings denied, with no recourse to posterity,
and then grandma pulled off.
Back in the garden
to flickers of sunlight
and stiffening bones,
the saturnine gloop of coagulate bodies.
Bibimus of course, grazed on dry-roasted peanuts
the normal diffusion of pent-up adult feelings:
overblown laughter suffused with defeat,
but we prevaricated on.
Once your mother’d piped up to vilify Howard
-- any victim will do --
and they’d murmured accord,
coaxed out my valediction, I said
I was off home.
Out from the Overground to a blood-red sky,
I wandered out on the Heath.
There it was though: the knot in my stomach,
waves of tremulous sadness with no explanation.
I passed Viaduct Pond,
then back across round till I’d scaled the low brow
of the East Heath Road hill.
Under penumbra of birches which disperse to a clearing,
by the pond where the orange lifebuoy stands sentry,
the nascent twilight protruded.
When I walked past the playground
I felt I should think something through,
it was the knot, the drop again. I dawdled;
the Koreans I’d passed overtook me, and it hit me
as I crossed into Well Walk that
your despair was diffracted,
I’d imagined myself slighted,
and though a discernible phenomenon,
cathartic tears formed but were insufficient to fall.