Unfinished Business

for Chrissy Banks & i.m.Tony Charles

As I remember
   and your dual texts always
   and ever will

there we were
sitting   writing in black
somehow      poetic osmosis I guess
we’d all agreed
to dress as for a funeral w/rite

    but then in a group of friends
    someone has to go

amongst prosaic notes I jotted
the rimming of reflection
your and your
shadowed eyes

scratched out from
these    garish   hideous

exotic flowers
left in
waiting to be
or embroidered tightly
into a final wreath

Now   nearly twenty years
later    looking for
something else    other
past drafts
   finding these

how they pop-up
from the abandoned book
I understand why I was reluctant to share
I look at words you can not see

It is as then

I didn’t  couldn’t know
the reason for this rite

   though as I said
   someone had to go
   first  others
   left to bear the fruit

couldn’t know

we share a barrel of biscuits bottle of wine
still together the three of us
music  breathing  the clock

I closed the book
blacked its message

until now

when this poem heaves itself
from the sheaf of neglected notes
replete with a foretaste of grief
yet    new the baby thrusts out its fist