You left a lot of stuff behind me on the shelves:
I’ve spent the last two hours dumping it in bags.
Sense and economics dictate a relocation
but the dust is floating now and
sometimes, when I sneeze, it hurts.
The recycling bags are deep and the copier’s marooned:
two days until collection and it will soon be lost
behind a heap of trees
environmentally circled, reconnecting to each end;
but that doesn’t unwrite pages.
The empty box files are stacked up inside each other.
They tessellate in crushed and flapping towers, and recreate
our campaigns in chaotic mini piles
organised in hopeless disarray.
Our pride is gone, but there’s fun in this cleansing.
I’m dumping files on other’s desks
because they’re the ones who know what’s good
to throw and what to guard.
A clinical exercise to cut away
the worthless that weighs upon the move.
But I can’t throw this: it’s your day-book.
And suddenly I look away and blink
and try to think like a man
who deals with stress and strain as calculated values,
not imprints of the soul.
But I can’t.
Your spidery writing is just like mine, though legible,
and I feel it with fingertips, embossed because you always pressed so hard.
She’s found another cupboard
of boxes, all labelled,
yielding up unwanted work – yet more decisions.
And now she asks me, should we take your photograph
hanging on the wall?
Give me another day.
It’s coming and you’re staying.
You were young
but can’t come.
We’ll take it with us
in the packing boxes.
The rest we’ll leave behind.