Posted in Death


Fran was a good employee and a 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?”



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.