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in collection, Watermarks, 2009,

Arrowhead Press, ISBN 978-1-9048522-4-7


Three Months On


He comes in unannounced and stands

at my shoulder, watching as I return

cheap cutlery to its drawer, reciting

in my head the drilled-in list he learned

on National Service: knife, fork, spoon –

but no tin mug.

                                 And there the moment

breaks. It feels like breathing out,

and he is gone until recalled,

maybe by the corkless bottle-stopper

hiding on the shelf. When I found you

that morning, crying, it was little things,

you said, that ‘got you’. They get us

less and less these days – most recently

Sinatra, singing You Will Be My Music.

One day soon I’ll frame a photograph.



Phil Kirby


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