Carrying Books

Carrying Books

(for Alistair Wisker)

A month after you died
we emptied your study.

Your wife said, Take this down
then handed me a bin bag
full of clothes.

Your piebald jumper
was at the top.

For Simon, it was your black sandals,
thrown carelessly in the bin,
looking like bits of bats
or broken umbrellas.

We filled the boxes.
Still, we needed more –
each tome and folder
expanded as we packed.

On a shelf, books
are light and ordered.

Packed into boxes –
backbreaking and lost.

When the room was empty
I remembered a day in February:

I watched the snow fall
as you talked about Eliot
and Hemingway, the joyful specificity
of violence within my prose,
the use of dashes –

Alistair Wisker, teacher and writer. 1945 – 2005

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