Tuesday, 2 August 2016


Because you fetched bouncy balls for the party of the boy you hadn't met,
packed tiny, strange curios in an antique tin for his advent calendar.

Because you saw the beauty in my daughter's gesture and matched it with your own:
she gave her shells to her brother for their Grandma's coffin,
so you gave her the loveliest shell she'd ever known.

Because, when Grandma died, you came Christmas shopping in Meadowhall
even though it was your idea of hell.

Because you brought me books that you thought I'd like reading
and shared music that I might like listening to.
Because you always, always listened to me too.

Because you carried wood and an axe up a hill in the dark
to build me my own personal bonfire for New Year.
Because you brought a paper lantern and a marker
to write to my mum in the sky.
This is why.

Because you gave me a lift home when it was cold and dark and I was tired.
Because, when I was with you, for once, I didn't have to be in charge.
Because I didn't care where I was going with you by my side.

Because you paddled in the sea in December
and walked through bogs without a care.
Because together we barely ever spent a penny
but knew there was no-one richer.

Because you were strong enough to cry and show your feelings.
Because you left me with no doubts about your feelings for me.
Because you had a collaging kit and weren't afraid to use it.

Because, though you couldn't offer me a seat in your living room
you had the world at your fingertips.
Because you could play me a tune or show me the stars or read me a poem.
Because you knew what was really important,
what was important to me.
Because I knew how important I was to you.

Because you could accept me, just as I was.
Because you understood.
Because you were so very very good.

'You are such a lovely man', I said.
'I hope you know that.'
It was the week before you died
and you were opposite me in my living room
though usually we were side by side.
You wavered, too humble to accept a compliment and then,
eventually replied:
'Yes, I think I do.'

It is true.
You were.
The loveliest man I ever met.
I don't know how I will ever replace you.
What am I supposed to do now
without you?