Half Way Through March

Half Way Through March


I find it’s six years since I saw you 

at St Peter’s school. I sat near the front,

you wore a crimson jumper – red your favourite 

colour, I think. I didn’t really want to ask

a question at the end, rather to tell you

I was re-reading all your novels in the order

they were written. Not only yourself

but the interviewer too were taken aback

when I did, by way of introduction to asking

if you planned for your characters to reappear

in later works, or whether it just happened.

I’d taken a break from writing myself,

never thought to ask if you’d written

any poetry, but you found occasion

to say you had not. Your plays

which I hadn’t known existed, you told us

were soon to be published. Not for the first time

you signed my copy of one of your books,

not your latest one, which I didn’t buy there,

nor the previous time I’d heard you speak

at Scarborough library, though maybe

I gave you that impression when I reminded

you of the event, when The Pattern in the Carpet

was your latest, that you had talked about it then.

A pleasant place, Scarborough you said,

or something like that, as you held 

your black pen, then returned to your

paper plate of buffet food, your goblet of water. 

I never imagined that in just over a year, 

I would read of the death of your daughter.    



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