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Transit Zone by Martin Burke     < back : index : next >   

E l e g y

They were never enough
those elegies addressed to you;
they missed their mark and ended on the breath
on which they began.
The one I liked best began by saying:
“The road we followed rose and took a slow bend.”
But this was not fluent enough, was laboured and false,
even so, from habit, need, fidelity,
I continue in the ways the poem demands
until suddenly, how much, I ask myself, in this little more
than a convention of time and circumstance?
Something to which I feel obliged though it is not natural to me?
It is true I loved you and that we were brothers more than friends
but I accept your death as friendship’s last act
and care more for the living than the dead.
Therefore these will be the last words addressed to you,
You will rest as lightly in the mind as the gravity of the day allows
and there will be no poem beyond what is attempted here.
I will not say I will never forget.
This is no elegy.


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