Where should we meet?

I reckon ten percent of one millennium
is no small matter
at any time
in the history of
matter and time.
An eye needs to blink
after all.

And this particular one hundred years
has been no small matter
though only time will tell
how historians will
reason and rhyme
their way through
it all.

You, from your black-rimmed spectacles,
saw no small part of it:
the sweep
and crush
of matter-of-fact
matter and fact,
bodies and souls.

Are you, body and soul, anything
at all like
the heroic, saintly ghost
I’ve made from
scraps of hard facts and
soft, soft
memories? To be honest, I don’t remember you.

Both of us know (or do we?) that only
– At the still point of the turning world –
is where, no, is there that
you can pick me up off the carpet,
hold me, eye to eye, smiling I suppose,
and do whatever it is that grandfathers do
to make their loved ones remember them.

James E. Burgess – one hundred years old today;
if
you were still here, today, that is.
And how that if matters,
And how that if echoes in my mind like
footfalls down the passage
which we could not take.

by James Walton, November 26th 2016

2 thoughts on “Where should we meet?

  1. James, This is wonderful! Thank you so much. It is a very special present to me. Grandpa loved you dearly- you are his namesake. He didn’t have a son of his own so when you arrived after the beautiful Fleur and Ursula, you were extra-special! Although we mustn’t canonise the dead, JEB was highly thought of by many and much loved by his stepsons and daughters in law ! He was certainly my hero and 73 seemed too young to leave us. You have inherited his creative talents- love of music, literature, a way with words. These, plus your own talents and love of the faith, add up to a grandson of whom he must be very proud!

    Mum X

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