For Orlando. A poem by Mark Saunders

You are alive
you are still alive.

I refuse to believe
you took that long walk
past the farm through the woods.
I refuse to believe
you were run down by a car.
It makes no sense.

Yet we bury you.
I feel the dead weight
in the black plastic bag
that the man brings back
and advises us not to open.

There is no sense
while there is no closure.

You would have helped dig the hole
where the woodland fringes the shore;
it was your playground.

You can listen to the waves.

I see you everywhere in the garden,
in the potato furrows, by the beech hedge,
sprawled around the pea-frame,
shaded under the gooseberries.
There is nowhere I can’t see you.

We don’t move your water bowl,
your cardboard box, your chair,
your scratching post,
just in case, just in case.

As we lie awake at dawn
you jump lightly onto the bed
and make your way up the duvet
to give our noses a ghostly rub.
You lay your grey shadow
on the pillow between us.
You brush our broken hearts.

You remind us of the power of touch.

Rest, little one.


Mark is a freelance theatre-maker and writer, living in South Queensferry.

1 Comment

  1. Beautiful, profound writing. Very touching..

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