Northwords Now Issue 40

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Time, Please

by Richie McCaffery

At long last I wrote to the widow
of a dead poet, like she’d asked.
I edited her husband’s Collected Poems.

A reply came back from her son.
She’d been dead two years herself.
I temporised until it became forever.

Time’s a curious thing. A British invention,
perhaps, for its insistence on queuing
days, years, generations. The odd coincidence

elbowing its way in while we stand there
confident of who is ahead and behind us.
Then we turn, already speaking, and it’s someone else.