It’s no use knocking

This town decays
in stages. Shutters hide
another fading name away
then fester gently. Now,
with those who half-remember me, l slide
the shutters and the times aside. A day
of doors and gates, spent searching for a town
that was and listening for the names.

“I thought you knew.
He died last year.
Just after harvest – March. A few
of us went down. They held
the service in the city. No one here
to see to things – not since the Maygars moved.
Seemed a pity. Born here so they tell me. Well
before my time of course. But now -”

The sentence stops,
unended. Then
a gesture empty as a shuttered shop.
A pause to search for something else to say
when nothing else is needed. There
is something final said of towns that send
their dead away.

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