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Monday, 28 November 2016

the end - Poetry by Bill Hannan

the end

Jack’s got diphtheria sister
he’s gone to hospital
Jack won’t be back my children
he’s gone to Mary and the angels

they are looking after Jack 
he died in the arms of our saviour
be like Jack and die a good death
so you’ll go straight to heaven

in my youth I am still a believer
I sing souls to paradise in requiems
but I must be becoming a sceptic
I don’t see myself going with them

eventually I understand that death
offers nothing useful to think about
we don’t know the how or the when of it
and nothing at all will follow it

and now in my eighty-fifth year
I suppose I must be waiting
for my rendezvous with death
but how does one prepare to meet nothing

you could say we’re both in rehearsal
Lorna’s sight and my hearing are fading
yet timeless darkness and silence
are still not the same as nothing

since we know not the day nor the hour
it’s probably prudent to make lists
of those things that you now regret
and of the companions you will miss

I must make some time to do that

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