The Saturday poem: Not an Obituary (A gift for Philip Casey)

Philip Casey listening to poetry readings at his 65th birthday at the Mansion House. Photograph: Sara Freund

Philip Casey listening to poetry readings at his 65th birthday at the Mansion House. Photograph: Sara Freund

 

Someday,
one of us will be informed of
the death of the other
and in that first long moment
when the world will seem to fall away
and it’s just ourselves left, minuscule,
standing absent on some overhang of limestone,
the earth’s floor thousands of feet below,
the light a startling grey
with not even the snatched cry of a starling
to oppose the silence,
a breath,
that the other has rescinded,
will be taken, held –
held until the blood sings out, cries
that the heart has swollen
and is hurting, trapped behind the ribs,
beating furiously –
and finally, innately, released.

Heather Brett’s collections are: Abigail Brown (Salmon Poetry, 1991); The Touch-Maker (Alternative Publishing Company); Green Monkey, Travelling (Bluechrome, 2005); and Witness (Windows Publications, 2015)