tagNon-Erotic PoetryMemories of James

Memories of James


We cleared your flat, just you and I
Well you were dead, so couldn't help much with the lifting
But you whispered in my ear, ever so softly
"Keep that," or "that's for so and so."
I listened carefully and made two piles on the floor

The stuff to keep, that went in the front of the van
There wasn't much, just photo albums and trinkets, memories you left us
Each little thing a symbol to keep you in our hearts
Carefully chosen by you to mean the most to the one who received it
You were always thoughtful like that

The rest we piled into the back of the van, you giving instructions
Telling me to wedge this thing here and that there
Because you were always better at this kind of thing than me
Remembering how you managed to fit the contents of my flat
Into a small transit van. Yours, the first time, fit in the back of my car

As kids, it was always you and me against the world, against everyone
Emptying your belongings into the cramped space of the van, it felt the same
I mean the neighbours helped with the heavy lifting, but still
They were just incidental players, drafted in to move scenery
They didn't have that connection, that history that we did

You didn't leave a will, why would you? At 23 you never think that way
And when the cancer took hold you went down fast, 3 months from start to end
But even then you were thinking of others not yourself
You left your widescreen TV to the elderly gentleman in the room next door
Because his eyes were too bad to see the little ones that were all the hospice could afford

The rest of your things, the furniture, the household stuff you gave away
To the charity that ran the hospice, provided the nurses, you didn't have any money
But you left them what you could. I gave them my details for the gift aid
I figured it was the least I could do. I cried the whole time I was doing it
And through the unloading of the van, and the explanations, and then I went back to work

I hadn't told them you were ill. The first time they knew anything was the day I turned up late
The partner pulled me into his office and demanded an explanation
"My brother died this morning," I said. I almost cried but bit my lip as he handed me a tissue
Then arranged everything for me, registering the death, getting the certificate
He walked me down to the Town Hall and sat with me through it all, business forgotten this one time

A half day was all I took for the funeral, and a half day to clear your flat
You sat beside me at my desk as I struggled to see through tears
And you told me it would get better with time, in time
You faded, the memories becoming faint, the pain retreating until
You were no longer my first waking thought

You told me, when I worried, that it wasn't a betrayal
That I no longer cried each night, you weren't forgotten
You were always good like that, knowing what to say, what to do
You held my hand, like I held yours when nightmares scared you
And you said you loved me, you were proud of me, and it was time to move on.

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byLexiRoseLexi© 6 comments/ 1929 views/ 1 favorites

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