Happy National Poetry Day! Here is a poem I wrote based on this year’s theme, messages.
The Knock at the Door
They came at night,
those harbingers of death, with their sirens and their sympathy and their superficial sorrow.
Their hats come off.
Somehow you know what they will say before they speak.
They say there was an ‘accident‘
that paradigm word their weapon of choice, striking the critical blow.
the hand that used to pull me along in the playground,
the hand that pushed me away, claimed instead by that boy.
The one with the tattoo. The one father didn’t like.
The one who was driving that night.
Your hand, in the burnt out husk of your twisted coffin, fused
somewhere off the M1.
They say they are sorry.
Sorry for my loss.
That’s it; it’s over
your laugh, your smile, your life, your death
over too fast.
Faster than 70mph.
How many times have they done this?
How many hearts do they shatter, like a splintered windscreen?
Delivering the same message over and over, sister after friend after father after wife.
For this is the ostinato of life, of which they are the conductors.
They say it was quick
Confusion, collision, combustion, conclusion
in less than a minute.
Like the fatal dance of a mayfly
Brief; beautiful; bright
To them I say
for there is no longer anything to say.