The Stephen Hercules Shaw Memorial Bench
Stephen Hercules Shaw
Much loved, much missed
Born the same year as you.
I rest on the bench
your mother bought,
your brother bought,
your friends bought,
and slowly forget.
The ducks half swim, half skate
Over the half-frozen half-winter lake
as I, half blind, half lame, half finished
watch ripples climb tree trunks,
legs crossed in reflection.
My shadow hat floats on the surface
as the wind changes.
I hope for the heron but hear coots.
It's cold but not cold enough.
Each bench has a name and two dates
One has the scraped initials of sometime lovers
Another has fresh flowers and a card
"To Pop, Happy Christmas."
As I heave myself up
a changed woman hurries past with a small annoyed dog
and I wonder
whether she thinks
I left the card
or stole a white carnation.
Copyright © PV Harrington | Year Posted 2020
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