Holding On

After you died,

I filled your clothes with air

and took you walking.


Inflated, you were new-born, elated:

a dashing, headless dandy,

all grand gesture:

a sweep of shirt sleeve and trouser leg.


My mouth had so much to say,

it ran ahead,

waiting for us before each bend,

tongue wagging, an eager dog.


It was on Waterloo Bridge that we met

the rush-hour automatons head-on.


I should have let go in the crush

but, headstrong, I clung on

through hit after hit,

until you were deflated:

a puddle of clothing,

a melted snowman.


Next time, we’ll go at night,

fly kites on the Heath,

consider the weightlessness

of space, the endless sky,

the aching in my chest.

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