people still spoke his name,
always in the softest possible way
handled the sentence in which it appeared
as if mohair, or silk.
He was gone before I started.
Gone from the workplace,
one day as afternoon turned to evening
coming back from extension classes
for his diploma
motorbike + truck + inattention = death.
I was the inheritor –
after the inheritor.
His name was still on the staff board
my predecessor’s removed before I commenced –
mine, sometime between Monday and Friday, of my last week
but Gerald’s remained.
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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