save the last breath for me
let me take it away
one last time
let me down (gently)
watching the sunset, thinking of Then
it’s mostly abstract
and mostly about you
In Memoriam Elaine Maclean Miller (1952-2013)
Her knock on the door was always prompt,
her uniform spotless despite the
poverty of her house.
We held hands in those days when
five-year-olds took themselves to school,
me in charge, one month older.
Same family, different circumstances:
me urgently peering over the parapet,
seeking a way out of the North End;
her, kind, sweet-hearted but
unconcerned by horizons, staying within
walking distance of home.
Our side of the family live long:
hers die young, as did she,
bleeding out into soft furnishings,
her roots in the coffins of her kin,
mine waving about madly,
feelers in other air.