This is a transcription of the poem I read out on Various' Radio show at the weekend (thanks Various for letting me on BTW).
I am looking into getting the show itself on here. But, I just need the technical know how. Well, my mate to tell me how.
Those Left Behind
What do you say about a man you hardly knew?
But in your span was in view
At family events or with my Dad for a Sunday brew.
What do you say about a man who hardly knew you?
But knew enough to swipe
At the arrogence of academics and youth.
What do you say when he's not there?
Those left behind are never prepared
And stories of his youth don't relate.
What do you say when you don't want to go
But seven days later
You have a box on your shoulder?
What do you say to those younger?
Who have seen death but need closure,
When all you can offer is a stronger shoulder.
When in the silence of the viewing room
And the buzz of the lights and the shell you hardly knew
Lies there still, questioning you – what do you say?
What do you say to your distraught father
When you have shed no tears
And you won't because you ought to.
What do you say when standing at the front
Lines and rollers and fires burning the nape
But you cannot think of a damn word to say.
What do you say to a man you hardly knew?
Sorry, but you was there
Without ever actually being there wasn't you?
When memories are mentioned,
When times and friendships and loves
Are anecdotes and fables?
When “I'm sorry” is empty.
When you search for meaning
And find nothing.
When relatives grieve
And you just want to leave.
But, you cannot and you will not.