Wednesday Poem: GONE by Blake Morrison

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The Independent Culture
You were always so slow to take your leave,

crumbs and tobacco dripping from your clothes

as you wheezed up from the depths of an armchair

like the sea-spilling, barnacled Mary Rose.

Cumuli of pipe-smoke would fill the porch

as you made heavy weather of your wellingtons

or fished in every pocket for a neckscarf,

fingering your toggles like precious stones.

And still the time to reach in that great chest

of yours for a word about the chances

of rain tonight, or to stand like a pillar

by the lawn-edge inhaling the crysanths.

Salt of the earth, monument to monuments,

who never hurried anywhere, except this once.

From Blake Morrison's `Selected Poems' (Granta, pounds 8.99)

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