June 29th. He’d have been 45 today, and I go on writing poems for him. I’m taken aback, every time. I think there’s nothing left to be said. But there is. There always will be. Happy birthday, lovely boy.
It was a morning like this
a Sunday morning. The sun shone.
It was July. It was a morning like this,
your first wife at the back door,
and why would she tell you
your son was dead, or had died,
or had been in an accident
on a morning like this still
not fully woken, a morning of sun
to drive into Chapeltown to drive
to a police station that’s called
The Old Police Station now, that’s
a bijou gastropub but then was just
a police station full of Sunday morning
sadness, and a morning something
like this and two young coppers
who thought we’d need somewhere
quiet at the back which turned out
to smell of smoke, that had a pool table
and coffee rings, and no-one knew
how to start or what to ask but
it was a morning much like this
they asked if we knew a tower block
behind the Merrion Centre or if
we had a connection to a tower block
and a ring with a skull and a brown
leather case and did we know if
our son had friends in a tower block
behind the Merrion Centre and
we might as well have been asked
about tree rings or chaos theory
or fractals on a July morning and
one young copper saying that
he didn’t think it made sense
for cannabis to be illegal and
what harm did it do really and
how it wasted everybody’s time
and I don’t know why I’d remember
that except it was a morning like this
we learned what waste might mean.
22 thoughts on “Our David 1971-1992”
Thank you John. This is wonderful.
As ever with good wishes, Anthony
Thank you, Anthony. Means a lot.
Oh, John… x
A wonderful poem. Thank you for sharing. Much love x
Thank you. I appreciate that xxx
Oh my goodness, what a brave ,heart-breaking and truly wonderful poem, the details are so telling. “A pool table/ and coffee rings”..
Very best wishes. May your lovely son rest in peace.
Another candle lit xxx
My lad is 16. This poem hits home. Thanks John 🙂
Hold on to him.
Big Warm Hug John. Your poem is very touching.
Once in a friendly conversation somebody said I´m wasting my time, because I said: I´m not and I never smoked. Actually I saw that evening was wasted for ever. .
Thank you for that, Gyula. We need hugs.
What a wrenchingly lovely poem, John. I’m not surprised there are always more poems to write. How could there not be with such a loss. Xxx
Thanks for that thought. And you’re right, of course xxx
Just arrived in UK – which has the atmosphere vaguely of a South American country in pre-revolution mode except much wetter. Greatly moved by your poem. I’m passing a copy onto one o our Stanza members who lost a daughter of around the same age – in her case victim of a violent partner. Like you, she cannot stop writing about it – and why should she or you. Alice Thomas Ellis wrote eloquently on the subject as well.
There’s a comparison I won’t wear lightly, Chris. I’m glad you think it’s poem that can reach out. In the meantime, welcome to 1930s England. But without a politicised working class.
Beautiful poem, John. Thinking of you.
Thank you, Liz. I was thinking of you, too, as it happens. Checking out poets to revisit on the cobweb. You’ve not been forgotten. Hope you’ve got new stuff for me xxxxxx
John, you probably don’t remember me, I am Julie and stevies friend from stoke. Your words moved me greatly and all I can say is I am often caught out how raw the pain can be when it catches you unaware. Keep writing and celebrate the gift of his life, as short as it was. GARY
Wow. Thank you for this. It makes me realise what writing does for a writer xx
It’s a beautiful poem, John. Those details. That pain. But you’re honouring him. Keep on keeping on.
Thank you so much, Yvie. It’s a thing I think of a lot, the business of poetry as atonement. It’s complicated not having a religious belief. I sometimes wonder if I do xxxx
Wow! This is beautiful and encapsulates the shock of grief so well. It is deeply moving. I am so very sorry for your loss X