When we returned home after John’s funeral
there was no one who asked: did John actually want to live?
(he was mad on funerals, always went,
maybe suddenly had had enough of them).
He visited us once more after that, two years later.
Said: ‘My mother won’t stop harping on about that heater,
don’t hold it against her, she misses me.
She believes payments help against the pain.’
When we crawled towards the exit you heard no one say
that John had made a mess of things.
Just past the gate we kept a close eye on each other
but every one stayed silent, as the dead tend to.
His mother perched high up on a branch, a little uncomfortable
in the body of an Eagle-Owl.
The bird’s real name is Bubo bubo, which experts say
means ‘I seize you’.