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July 2017, vol 13 no 2

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Charles Tarlton


CARMODY: It seems as if every generation has to rediscover that it’s death that makes living inestimable.
BLIGHT: They say you never know what you’ve got till you’ve lost it.

I came to the farm where my oldest friend had lived and where he died. I had come for the burying of his ashes. People stood or sat around in little groups on the lawn or under the big Maple. I walked past them, up on the porch, and into the house. As I came through the front door I all but expected to see him there in his kitchen. Old conversations around the kitchen table were playing in my mind and I felt him there. But of course, he wasn’t there. I catch myself sometimes thinking I should call him, but I never make it all the way to the phone.

he’s not anywhere
now and the memories fade
to become just words
I tell all the old stories
but no pictures come to mind

sometimes he’s shown up
in my dreams, not exactly
acting like himself
he’ll say things I never heard
stand there uncomfortably

I tipped his ashes
in the Liffey and they made
a cloud that drifted
down to the river, sinking
slowly as if saying goodbye