Poem for an aunt

Several years ago I was in my home town for the first time in decades. My great-aunt died in those few days I was there.


She died today
ninety something years in the same small town
end with a whimper
or a bang
depending on which God
you follow

it was time
it was time

before was the time
when the indignities began
the nappy
the feeding

the lack
The lack.

goodbye darling goodbye darling
she called to no-one in particular
or everyone

For months.

she died today and the space
which is left in the bed is
hardly ruffled

the space she leaves in the town
is the wrong shape for another
to fill.

The smell of death is sweet.
I take off my tee shirt and
wash it as I shower.