They said you’ll miss all these things,
Little difference, significant rings,
Yallow daffins in a vase,
One or two new succulents,
Buckie oil, a bubble bath,
Sunshine on the garden path.
But no one could tell you otherwise,
Every blessing a stepping stone
To the next solution of barley and sloe;
Sometimes you slipped for so long
Into the brown-sludge blanketing river
Friends and colleagues were very surprised
When you returned to work
To deliver the slippage of your future.
We had the picnic without you,
The slithers of peacetime, changing weather,
Seven baptisms, end of a tether,
Laughter lighter than a feather.
I retrieve now several dreams
From when I was confined as an unworldly teen
Of sabotaging breweries;
Instead, I became arch-saboteur
For all the debts you would incur
To forget the gift and the giving.