Your mother's washed
your red patterned
woollen jumper,
the Christmas one
we call it, as that
was when
you wore it last.


She hung it on
a wooden hanger
in the hall to dry.


Seeing it there,
silent and empty,
opened in me
a deeply wounded,
unuttered cry.


Later when dry,
I took it down
to turn
the right way in
and fold,
then pressed against
my cheek and chest
to hold,
as if
for a moment
you were there again,
your beating heart,
your pulse of life,
your solid being,
but I knew you weren't,
just the coloured wool,
the red patterned jumper,
that just been washed scent.


I thought you immortal;
how sad that is,
that illusion love made,
that you will always be there, lie,
that you will
never never die.


I clutched
the jumper tight;
tried to sense you there,
your pounds of flesh,
your gentle self,
your body
within the wool.

How sad that is,
they'll say,
the old sad fool.


Your mother washed
and dried your
red patterned
woollen jumper
yesterday, today
I placed it on
a plastic hanger
and put away.

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