Poem of the week: The dead are selfish

Gerard Hanberry. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Gerard Hanberry. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

 

They keep to themselves,
no soft breath on our necks,
no shadowy form by a window.

Sometimes they hide in our dreams
like a face deep in a foggy mirror
or a faded watercolour.

A butterfly in the kitchen,
a robin by the back door,
grief makes us desperate.

We pluck weeds from their graves,
humped from our weighty backpacks
of ‘could haves’ and ‘should haves’,

while above our heads
starlight comes tumbling
through the vast indifference of eternity.

Gerard Hanberry is currently working on his fifth poetry collection. He also writes non-fiction