I am unsure what has resurrected –
the right word – the memory of his death,
whoever he was. Perhaps it is
this windy night of cold rain almost snow –
and blinds drawn against the dark. But police
and the ambulance were called at first light.

Behind our house is a row of pre-fab
concrete garages. Even building regs then
forbade the use of the final concrete slab
as prohibiting access. Whatever his name,
he parked his mini there. We remember
his gender and the type of car but not
the reason for his choosing that the
last thing he would see was a high brick wall.

We were busy parents, busy at work –
yet not to have remembered the details
of why someone should have made such a
momentous decision fifty feet away
seems extraordinary and, in retrospect,
shameful. I know now we would record each fact
and grieve for a stranger. Maybe youth
is cursory in remembrance and age
is diligent in death.




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  1. #1 by Katie Henry - December 22nd, 2015 at 17:44

    Does this illustrate of the way Christian values and language threads right through the traditions of western societies? Its caring agnosticism borrows words [note the deliberateness of “resurrection” as a choice] and then tells the story of the way a stranger’s death affects the looker on, makes us feel we’re witnessing a modern parable, without the didacticism of the pulpit.

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