Poems by Jim Conwell (UK)
Published in The Ofi Press issue 48
There is a man with a Bowie knife,
Its needle point made to slip deep in, easily,
Its handle tanned with the sweat of his loving hand.
It is his favourite thing in the world
And he takes it out whenever he has the time,
to hone it some more on its leather holster
which is specially made for that purpose.
He is never further than the next room
And the thin wall ensures
I can always hear him moving
even when I cannot see him.
He is taking his afternoon nap just now
Collapsed on the iron camp bed in the corner.
But he sleeps with his knife in his hand.
And when he opens his eyes, he is instantly awake.
How did the funeral go?
Considering that we put
my sister in a deep hole
and filled it in, it went very well,
None of us tripped on our way
with the coffin, the priest was
the people enjoyed the food
and the money
behind the bar did not run out.
It was a great fucking funeral.
You approach me
across the hall, crowded with
her family and friends,
all remembering and eating
and drinking and laughingly,
You tell me how loved she
was by everyone she worked with.
That she was a great laugh
and will be really missed.
I don’t look you in the eye and say
“Well, you had the best of her, then.”
She was your “Angel” was she?
With an original background in Fine Art, Jim Conwell has worked in mental health for thirty years. He has had poems published in magazines in the UK, Ireland, Australia and North America and had two poems shortlisted in the Bridport Poetry Prize 2015. He lives in London, England.
Image: "Grave in Batley Cemetery" by Tim Green.