‘Yes and no. You know that it’s nearly over.
That you’ve had a good innings.’
You can’t say the same for John. He died when he was forty.
Forty seemed old to me as I slowly
advanced in years towards this magic number.
Sometimes I get caught.
His voice sounds just like yours.
On the phone, I sometimes
leap right on in and don’t realise until it’s too late.
‘How strange.’ Those were the words that he used
to open what would be our last encounter.
Forgive me for running on so fast.
Those words, spoken on the ridgein his inimitable intonation.
But then all voices bear their own stamp like whorls in a fingerprint?
I write down the date.
I see him instantly.
Then I passed it by.