Howard Firkin
It must be spring. The pubs are turning into
sushi bars; old women into lanes.
You almost feel the tarmac throb as plane
trees warm their engines. Birds sing, or begin to.
A day, you’d say, that made a great page one.
But nothing starts. It follows. It’s a script:
the weather, characters, the funny scenes
when you were younger, casting round for genes
to leave your offspring properly equipped—
but all you leave is all you’ve left undone.

It feels like spring. My father knows he’s dying.
The room is full of flowers and not much else.
A thousand things undone—none now worth trying.
I wish the bloody flowers didn’t smell.