LOSS MARKERS

in life’s calculus

the aggregation of loss is zero

the sum total of lost things is nought


get used to losing things

declares Elizabeth Bishop in One Art

for the art is in remembering

but there’s no joy in absences

nothing is lost without loss


a dead lover

haunts your dreams now

illness finally consumed him

secrets from beyond

tell nothing unknown

and not much that is

love remembered a one-way street

receding into the past


my twin perpetually grinning

in the mirror of our life

from conception face to face

until death foretold

at Drimfern Inveraray

eating gravel in his stoop

when his heart stopped

his barbour jacket with his smell

on its peg inside the door


my father face down

in the leaflitter of the gully at Maroota

the fall’s force puncturing his brain

news conveyed by phone

grief released

in that front paddock

of stripped oats at Gundaroo


revisiting David’s farm Gunnas Gunya

driving the dirt track through scrub

located by intuition rather than recollection

after this time deserted

his MG TC abandoned in the barn

that front paddock bare


not lost just misplaced