The George Crabbe Memorial Poetry Competition
1985 Crabbe Memorial Competition – First Prize
Adjudicators: Gavin Ewart, Isobel Thrilling
I’ll leave your side of the bed empty
because you always slept by the door;
let your books retain their autonomy,
unread and unaugmented any more.
I’ll keep a sticky bottle of Drambuie
as if I can’t believe you won’t return;
haunt archaeology classes as your proxy,
to pick up facts you hadn’t time to learn.
I won’t part with your wardrobe, not at first;
1 know I’ll feel your presence there the most.
I’ll touch the skirts and dresses, vacant now,
and strive to importune your absent ghost.
I’ll never come to terms with your familiars,
utensils: pots and pans and glasses,
counters played by you in the domestic game.
Your creatures still, no matter what time passes.
The contents of the kitchen will stay yours
as long as they exist. But sadly, I suppose,
one day you’ll lose your grip, your fingerprints will fade
like colours on the curtains that we chose.
Copyright © Frank Wood 1985