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A year ago today, my aunt passed away after a fight with a brain tumour that she had won once, but lost in the second round. She was young and full of life, with a dry humour that I only wish I could match.

I am not a very good poet. In fact I am an awful one. I have the vocabulary of an 8 year old, and the imagination of a recluse. But I gave it a go – don’t judge me! It doesn’t have a name: perhaps “You are the reminder”.

Every day is followed by another.
The sun rises, puncturing the night,
The birds sing, they fill the empty air,
The newspaper squeezes through the box, and falls
untidily
On the mat.

News. All of that.
The wars and famines and murders and droughts
and problems and statistics and troubles and doubts –
It could get you down.
(Perhaps it should.)

But every day is followed by another.

When the sun dawned and you did not greet it,
When the birds sang and you could not hear it,
When you were a mournful notice in the falling paper
Of someone passing,
Of someone lost,
Although we fell, untidily, into grief,
The world – yes, all of that – went on.

You can’t believe it at the time –
that birds can sing and the sun can shine –
Seeing the world is hard when you’re in pain,
But you must encounter it again.

The night will be punctured.
The air will fill once more.
And though the world is bleaker, without your gleeful eye,
Your dazzling smile, your wicked laugh –
You are the reminder.

That life is tough.

But love is kinder.

 

In loving memory.

 

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