Posted in Death


Fran was a good employee and good person
reliable, hard-working, not given to complaint
kind and compassionate but broking no nonsense
worldly without being sophisticated.
if she hadn’t been God denying – emphatically.
She knew of my Catholic education
and churchgoing
never making cheap shot
or seeking conflict
elevated eyebrows occasionally transmitting agnosticism .

Annie died aged 38 one Saturday
collapsing after a half marathon
three children left without a mother
all young
very young.
Fran asked if something was wrong
listened without question or interruption
to my grief
to my bewilderment
after a time of heavy, congruent silence
she spoke gently and with love
“do you still believe in God?”

For the back story click Backstage
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Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.

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