Monday, 9 May 2011

A Gentle Man

I drove you to the hospital
The day before I started work
At my new office job.

I tried to tune the radio
And natter while we had to wait
For them to call your name

But all I got was Heart FM
And static. I just made it worse
For everybody else.

And then they sentenced you to death
And gave you leaflets you can’t read
Because of your bad eyes.

A miner’s lungs are chock with dust,
Like wrapping paper, ripped and chucked
In Argos shopping bags

The day that shadows Christmas Day.
These things we used to love, and, then,
We burn, or throw away.

There’s nothing hidden in my chest
But air, conditioned in the pumps
Of tubes and on the train

And in the softening hours spent
On chairs in meeting rooms with pens
For picks and ink for veins.

I drove you home in winter rain,
My Nissan Micra stuck behind
A truck that ferried skips.

These massive yellow coffins racked
In rows to bury working men
Who coughed themselves to death for jobs
That waved them off with fucked-up lungs
Instead of carriage clocks.

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