EACH BENCH, Poetry by PV Harrington


By PV Harrington

Stephen Hercules Shaw
Much loved, much missed
Born the same year as you.
I rest on the bench
your mother bought
your brother bought,
your friends bought
to remember
and let imagine.

The ducks half swim, half skate
on the half-frozen half-winter lake
as I, half blind, half lame, half finished
watch ripples climb tree trunks
and tree trunks rippling in the water –
leaning sideways in the air,
legs crossed in reflection.

My shadow hat floats on the surface
as the wind changes.
I hope for the heron but hear coots.
It’s cold but not cold enough.
Each bench has a name and two dates
One has fresh flowers and a card
“To Pop, Happy Christmas.”

As I heave

A woman hurries past with a small annoyed dog
and I wonder
whether she thinks
I left the card,
or stole a white carnation.

    * * * * *

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