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For Hans KellerCraig Raine
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Vol. 7 No. 21 · 5 December 1985
Poem

For Hans Keller

Craig Raine

201 words

There will be more of this,
more of this than I had realised
of finding our friends

irrevocably changed,

skewed like Guy Fawkes in a chair
because all the muscles have gone
and talking as if nothing has happened

when nothing has happened.

There will be more of this,
more of coming to crematoria
to learn that a life can come to an end

like a Haydn quartet, without a repeat.

There will be too much and then more of this,
of hearing instruments negotiate with silence,
stating the case with gravitas

and anxious, insect antennae.

We stand for the coffin at a word from the usher.
The speaker’s hand feels for his pocket,
as his nerves die down

and the nerves take over.

That hand is alive and my feet are alive,
feeling the pinch of expensive new shoes,
and I am moved by being moved

as the coffin crawls to the fire.

Hans, there is still more of this,
more of undertakers locking the hearse
and seeing the plastic safety bolts

slide, like suppositories, slowly away,

as we re-enter the sunshine alive
with eyes to see by Camden Lock
a bedstead, sleeping rough,

like dead beloved bodies everywhere.

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