WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO
I laughed at the idea (you showing me what to do),
And it was not a case of the pupil teaching the master,
Far from it, I was not yet a poet.
But I laughed, dear heart – Don’t call me dear heart! –
Because I’m crazy for you.
Your expert tuition, your green eyes, your meals on the table,
Your reckless driving, your love.
I had an intuition you’d spring a surprise and I would be unable
To turn you round, to change your mind, to stop
Rhyming and phoning and writing.
I was laughing, until I realized what I’d lost …
Your guidance, your body, your rebuke –
Why are you laughing? Because I’m crazy,
Because I miss you so much:
Islandmagee won’t be the same without you,
Poetry will turn to prose,
Women will keep on their clothes,
And I’ll revert to rhyme, time and time again,
Because free verse reminds me of you, my old friend!