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  You are @ HomeAdults Memorials


Source: Adults

Author: Neil Marsden


So altered from that sombre day when first I stood in stunted grief

Surrounded by the crying, ever needy throng

A huddle of blackened shuffling living corpses

Fighting to out-grieve the next, oblivious to me

My duty then to hand the soil box round with dignity detached

And find the missing words to comfort and sustain

My love for you forgotten and of no consequence to the rest

As they feasted on whatever was no longer left of you.

I watched in cold detachment as the dirt fell from their hands

Onto a box still settling, your new found nest of frozen earth

Then hopelessly reached into the empty pitch pine box for mine

And the dispersing sated audience shuffled on ahead as if bound together by chains

I could not face to be a part of this charade and so instead

I promised to the man with digger waiting in the shadows out of sight

That I would again return without the posse in my wake

To begin to face the end just as we started, together and alone

Then with heavy heart I raced to catch those failing on the long walk back

To prop them up and push them on towards reality and pain

I did not sense or want to feel a warming hand upon my back

I knew that what had happened there was cold beyond belief

And so I climbed into the limousine a long black gesture of respect

And raced back home to put the endless kettles on

To wash down triangular sandwiches and cake

And tales of just who knew and loved you best

I tried so hard that endless day to keep my angry heart in check

So hard that parting thanking handshakes drained my heat

And thus with your permission I thanked them from the bottom of your heart

Whilst those remaining there inside continued with their long accounts

Engrossed in competition now to be the last to leave, to me already gone

Not once from the edge of this dark circle did caring eyes try search mine out

But unbeknown and unannounced and so unlike them all

I would be returned to you before the close of day

By seven ten the milk ran out and bulging ash-trays touched the sky

The competition winners cue to leave, her devotedness now beyond all doubt

She now had absolution for the many awful things she knew she’d felt

But now my time would fast return to wash away and hurry back

And like some illicit love affair I would secretly return

So then without a leaping heart or time for trepidation

I telephoned a cab to bring me speeding on

An appointment with my grieving brother firmly on the cards

Then like facing great adventure, I collected things I thought you’d like

To bring to you to comfort and sustain

I walked into our bedroom and wished I could bring everything inside

Instead I picked your dressing gown and Xmas cards you’d yet to sign

I wondered how, if undelivered, they ever would forgive

The one on top portrayed my name and so your untold greeting hit my mind

Then like a steam train without warning, the loss of you hit home

But the impatience of the taxi driver would bury grief again

Excitement now would carry me across the snow filled streets

Totally detached from all that’s really real I will fly to you

The driver checked as if his hearing had betrayed my destination

Then explanation gladly tendered, he apologised for my sad loss

And like a drunken, gibbering idiot, I re-assured him it was not his fault

But then could not hold the sadness back, and cried, and cried, and cried

My faith restored in humanity by the kindness of this apparent stranger

Who hugged me back to self-control in a car park out of sight

This loss of face unsettled me and now with a sense of self doubt

I carried on my journey the excitement left behind

Somewhere between departure and arrival I had lost my mind

Overwhelmed by wildest thoughts in quantity untamed

I sensed that I may be suffering without you by my side

I yearned so much to turn around and go back home to you

Before the rationale struck home, the driver brought me round

We’ll call it just a fiver mate, I know that you’ve had a hard time

.Like some third party watching on, I could not unravel sense at all

And realisation came to punch me hard with my pockets empty of the fare

But then remembered that I had the special envelope on board

Presented days ago by sympathetic policemen already dressed in black

“This is all he had upon his person I’m afraid,” a crumpled five pound note,

A two pence piece and silver blood stained necklace torn from his lifeless neck

Grievingly and guilty of a second loss I surrendered out the final note

And walked towards the gates, shamelessly sucking on the congealed chain

The snow now falling heavily as I crept inside that night

I thought I heard the driver shout my name behind

But all relevance and consequence had left me now, dumbfounded and alone

And without doubt I was the master of my own demise.

Just two short steps on the snow rich path led me deep into caverns of black

And I knew I would no longer need the money for my return

For a moment I felt something resembling better

As I arrived back there to you

For countless an hour I stared at the heap, now a mound of miraculous white

And when mentality somewhere failed me completely

I climbed atop the hill and began to desperately scrape

You will not leave me here now, why would you, how could you,

I have come to you bearing presents, you must now return back home to me

Each time I tried to dig you out, the snow re-filled each desperate hole

And sometime long after midnight I gave up the ice-cold will to live

Tomorrow other people could arrive to fold me in, I now come to you in sleep

I awoke to the sound of a considerate radio, cocooned in a blanket of warmth

Felt triumphant that my brother would be somehow not far off

I frantically looked around this strange new place to look upon your face

But then celebration ended swiftly when a strange but familiar voice called my name

“You stupid fool, you nearly died, it’s a good job I drove on by!”

“I picked you up and carried you back here,”

“And placed your lifeless, loveless body in my nice warm bath of creams!”

The taxi driver had done his good deed for the day, “You know I saved your life!”

And his hand quietly searched me out beneath the foam

I wanted so to shout out loud to sound the anguished cry

But your well placed hand would adequately silence me for now

“You must lay still, your feet are blue, but I am here for you.”

And searching out for anything brought me nothing in return

Throughout the fleeting consciousness you struck, your hands a probing mass

And helplessly and hopelessly I fought to stay alive

“You just rest there quietly, you are very ill tonight!”

You had seized and captured your delight without so much as please

Two days or so of terror later I would wake to face reality in all its shame

My blistered hands and feet would stir within his stenching sheets

My nose a blackened mass of burns from distant sleeps upon the snow

I felt like death would have surely hurt me less

I looked around to see if you were real

But there on the bed-side table sat your arsenal of ugly creams

“So you’re back with us? I didn’t want to wake you from your sleep.”

“I didn’t call a doctor, it’s a crime to try to top yourself you know!”

I couldn’t grasp the half of it, a senseless mesh of dreams

Could not separate the fiction from the fact

“You can stay here with me for as long as you might need.”

I felt it best I didn’t tell him what I really thought of that

“I think I need to let folks know that I’m o.k,” fell feebly from my cracking lips

“Worry about that later son, for now I have this bowl of broth for you.”

So I had dinner with the devil and quickly fell asleep again

Until some time in the early morning I awoke to find you gone

The place where I had caught your smell now empty to my right

And blackness filling every room I hobbled forth to find the light

My clothes were lying newly washed and dutifully pressed beside

A letter from the master’s hand

“Have gone to work will be back soon, I bathed you overnight.”

“I’ve locked you in to keep you safe, love you!”… Mr Moon x

Sitting there it dawned too late the tragedy behind

And the world caved in like larva round my head

I raced around confused and panicked circles, back to front and front to back

Where in this world was I, boggadoo, brogadee, brogadaah

Would he return to tend my burns or scald me further still

I quickly donned my laundered clothes and brothers dressing gown

To shield me should I by remote chance escape wherever town

I dared to steal a moment to compose

Something beyond comprehension must now lead me by the hand

I suppose you stole my shoes away so I took yours instead

And out from your cum-stained trousers on the floor

My brothers crumpled fiver, chain and two pence piece fell lovingly to my hand

The Christmas card you never sent there neatly on the desk

I left with the same I entered with but ran away taking so much more

As handful after handful launched the bed-side bottles at the lounge side glass

And the night outside this mystery was a cold and biting sleet

So not for the first time I would fight the winter night

Over time I have forgotten you, but never quite escape

The times you flash before me with strange images in the night

For years you took my special place away

Then later than I would have liked I dared to enter back

The place that lives out both my nightmares and my dreams

You came you took and then mistook fragility for love

Your lust overcame your decency as you picked off the bones of the dead

But in the end my loving brother watched me home

The turning clock has faltered not since first I entered here,

This place that holds no answers to the many questions that I have

Yet once again the time dictates the calendar should draw me back

By chance I might rewind the fate worn hands

From the moment that I push aside the tall black gates

Whose squealing hinge defies attempts to quietly filter in

I wear the cloak of solitude as the thundering iron bangs behind

And I am thankfully enclosed within

The traffic on the road outside have turned their engines onto mute

And the people at the bus stop pause their gossip for a while

Their steaming mouths like cooling towers fall silent out of blind respect

And the roaring planes above me switch to glide

This place the quietest place of all where resting angels

Sleep to a symphony of blackbird, wren and lark

They have no desire or need to listen now

To our death defying, life-denying ceaseless noise

A hundred times I’ve walked this endless route

Accompanied only by my memories of you

Alone but for the sweetly singing guardians

That carefully root out the worm between the lines of graves

I believe that here is our place despite the names on stone

A world where no one else’s feet could ever tread

And clearly see one set of time worn footprints

Sunk inches down into the hard returning path

I try to feel each time I call that maybe I will catch you by surprise

Yet also want to think that you already sense that I am back

And so I turn that final corner where marble heart shaped stone

Will bear-hug crush yet comfort me somehow

A recipe for contentment and betrayal

Then like some old restrained, constrained re-union

Close in with my ever out-stretched hands

And where hello, goodbye, where are you, fight to be the first words said

Now so many conversations have since passed between

This ghost in me and you encased beneath the soil

No longer empty promises or hopes or dreams speak out

For we have reached a state of abstract understanding

Without the need to tell each other one more time

My time passed here now clearly spent in disbelief and shame

Thirty dreadful winters warm and melt their snows upon your soul beneath

Yet freeze me over ever colder here

Neil Marsden.

Published on writebuzz®: Adults > Memorials

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