Howard Firkin
You never lived this tidily. Not here;
not even here. You left your beds unmade,
unweeded. Your gravel wasn’t always raked.

You left. And some of you, at least, left someone
glad you’d gone. You won’t read that in granite,
but some of us read rust and trust its word.

And some of you left families so hurt
they spat your memory on stone to crumble
into lichen coloured flakes. Rake that.

You couldn’t and they can’t. They leave a flower;
write a poem; drop their tears; and where
the fuck are you? Gone —somewhere past these trees
pollarded into shapes that might mean something,
but don’t. A tidy lie. Like you, it’s left.