My son Andrew would have turned 10 today.
I usually try to say a little something about him on the blog around this time of year.
I generally don’t have much appreciation for poetry. I have to admit, when Latham pulled a book of verse he had written out of his briefcase and handed it to me, I would have told him to keep it if that hadn’t seemed incredibly rude.
But it turns out that, like me, John Latham had a son who died. The poems in the book, entitled Sailor Boy, are dedicated to his son.
These wonderful poems transported me back to the time of Andrew’s death in a way I never could have imagined. I would never want to stay in that state permanently, but nonetheless it is a gift to be able to go back and visit once in a while. As time passes, it gets harder and harder to reach that place.
Perhaps my favorite poem in the collection (although it is an odd one) is the one I’ve reproduced here:
She cuts in before I can explain.
Yes, I recollect your booking:
Three-tier cake. July.
Marinated prawns and quiche.
I say we have to bring it forward.
It wasn’t my reception, but my son’s.
Not his wedding, now.
At last she breaks the silence.
How about some nice pork pies?
Folk eat more when they’re sad.
I hear you laughing.
Andrew, we still miss you every day.
[Addendum: Thanks so much to all the kind folks who posted comments below; they were profoundly moving.]