Villanelle, I think it’s called.

Not exactly Dylan Thomas. Something about this reminds me of that one by Sylvia Plath about the mad girl in love (r at least I think that’s what it’s about) — maybe the frankness if not lyricism of the language. I may just be deluding myself, poor versifying poetiser that I am.

Anyhow, here’s poem number five. We all surrender ourselves in different ways, and if there’s some therapeutic benefit in this, then I’ll take it.

.

No.5

.

Today, I met a man with half a head,

Met his silent wife, his dad and mother.

The rest was on the wall behind his bed.

.

Still in his hands, the gun on which he’d fed.

Belated birthday gift from his brother.

Today I met a man with half a head.

.

A paramedic touched my arm and said,

Watch them, or they’ll turn on one another.

The rest was on the wall behind the bed.

.

Nothing left behind, no last words said

That could the sight of him in some way smother.

Today I met a man with half a head.

.

The term we use is ‘processing’ the dead.

We do our work behind an opaque cover.

We photographed the wall behind the bed;

I won’t forget the man with half a head.

.

No.5

Erik Kaisson, 2017

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