Leaving a legacy

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I don’t normally share this sort of thing online, simply because the internet makes plagiarism far too easy. But here’s a poem I wrote recently on the occasion of the office memorial service for a colleague…

Legacy

So you died

and your colleagues are throwing a party

There are bouquets and canapés;

the boardroom’s done up like a church.

 

People wear black today

and don’t smile when I greet them

and walk around saying,

‘I’m no good at things like this…’

 

It seems I alone declined – respectfully –

and stayed at my desk

choosing not to do you the disservice

of pretending that I knew you

or ever spoke to you

or even cared.

 

Please don’t misunderstand:

I’m not happy that you’re gone

but how does it affect me

if I barely acknowledged you alive?

 

The feasting’s over now;

dried curling sandwiches

and bruised rose petals

are all that’s left behind

 

Yet for those who really did know you

and speak to you

and care about you,

I’m sure the gap you’ve left

is wide and raw and real.

 

You will be missed

by those whose lives you touched.

 

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