For Bridget

Your death is our death –
the death of us, of normal.
Of the way that music and laughter
go together without thinking.
What was distinct is now confused
What once was blended, apart.

You were careful and carefree
inspired and inspirational -
shining with contradictions:
forgetful yet kindly thoughtful,
full of argument and sympathy;
disorganised yet competent.

Something of a fairy godmother.
We all sought your good opinion.
Problems needing solutions
would be touched by your wand –
all of them, except your own.
Fairy godmothers just help others.

There is a time which is not a time
in which we and you die together
and you are with us now and here,
and the past, though downstream,
is flowing back up to this moment
like an Escher drawing, circular,

There is a time which is not a time
in which we and you are a story
told by the sun to the moon
about a strange place, Earth,
the sun turning the pages of life,
repeating the ending, daily.

But your death is our death –
the crossing of our lonely hearts.
Those who remain will see the days
we spent together, and repeat
our names – like so many suns
endlessly setting on the horizon.


Photograph of Bridget Wren (née Barker) by Ian Mortimer, in Exeter, January 2006

Bridget Barker, 1959-2010




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