Michael Burke – Two poems


WINTER – the final season
   Summer has come and gone
   without a whisper
   The city
   is much
  its river slowing down
  Winter is preparing to drop in
  as  if   
 some uninvited stranger
 a  touch of  of  menace to the air 

 I listen again
 to  the short message    
 my  father has left
 on  my phone
He has been discharged
from  the hospital
earlier  than expected

They can do no more  

 I am to   bring his car round to the entrance
 as  soon as possible.
 He  wants  to get home.

  The  carpark  exit  barrier still  stubbornly refuses  to lift
  I  fumble wondering  what to say


 that I have let him down
 time .


the waves break
        with regular monotony
                           against the sandy shore
              as  I  sit   uneasily  on my  late  wife`s  favourite bench
on the promenade

trendy young  joggers
             listen to their private radio stations
                                                 ignoring everybody
                  massaging  themselves  with
high  factor  sun cream
                 in-between music changeovers
young  mothers walk determinedly
                                 behind their
                                                        turbo charged
                                     baby strollers
              occasionly  assuring themselves
that all their fashion accessories
                  are   secure
   perfectly  in order

                     the girl with the purple hair
                                               and the pierced  lip 
                                                          flirts  unitentionally
                                    with  all she meets
          and wonders why everybody
                                 seems so friendly

the young student
               with the recently diagnosed tumour
            in constant astonishment
at the blueness of the sea
                  the whiteness of the clouds
and  the
          distance purple mountains

the city council warden
sits anonymously
in a  blue van
watching  the people go by
noting all that is happening
and  all
 that is not happening

with some apprehension
          I  lift myself from the bench
                             walk  slowly towards the water
                                             my  wifes  ashes  held  in the cheap  jewelry  box
                        I bought for her  in Woolworths
          several  lifetimes

Michael Burke


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