To the Man Who Died in a Doorway in Stirling

Photo by Taufiq Klinkenborg Pexels

The weight of the world smothers you

Like a wet wool blanket

And still, you lie there.

Your eyes - dusted in grime

Follow my reflection on the ground

As my footsteps silence the sound

Of a town laid on its side.

A red umbrella flicks to the right

And you hide from the eyes of a pigtailed child,

Who skips behind a balding builder wiping pie grease

From his mouth.

I step out of their world and into space.

Over and around you I listen

And like a shell pressed upon my ear

All I can hear is the sea and my heart

Saying, I’m afraid of you.

I’m afraid if I don’t shake you

Who the hell will wake you?

But I won't shake you

For fear of hearing you rattle

Like a bag of bones.

I find your cup, drop a coin and say

‘Sorry man.’ Just like the last time

And I wonder,

When the first freeze frosts the leaves

Will you see sparkles

When I see dust.


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