Skip to content

someone is dressing up for death today, a change of skirt or tie

eating a final feast of buttered sliced pan, tea

scarcely having noticed the erection that was his last

shaving his face to marble for the icy laying out

spraying with deodorant her coarse armpit grass

someone today is leaving home on business

saluting, terminally, the neighbours who will join in the cortege

someone is paring his nails for the last time, a precious moment

someone’s waist will not be marked with elastic in the future

someone is putting out milkbottles for a day that will not come

someone’s fresh breath is about to be taken clean away

someone is writing a cheque that will be rejected as ‘drawer deceased’

someone is circling posthumous dates on a calendar

someone is listening to an irrelevant weather forecast

someone is making rash promises to friends

someone’s coffin is being sanded, laminated, shined

who feels this morning quite as well as ever

someone if asked would find nothing remarkable in today’s date

perfume and goodbyes her final will and testament

someone today is seeing the world for the last time

as innocently as he had seen it first


Dennis O'Driscoll

More from
Poem of the Week

George McWhirter

The Jaguar

translated from the Spanish written by
Homero Aridjis
Ishion Hutchinson