“He just wanted to be with her,” she said
as she made up an empty single bed
for someone no longer there,

the crucifix over the door,
“wear a darker colour,” she added
“for the hours we did not spend together,”

he used to look at me above the rim of his spectacles
when I was asked round for a meal,
we wander about an empty flat

listening to the silence that used to be interrupted by a cat
whose soft footfall is like the landing of snow
on hallowed ground

a rosary and upon a chest of drawers, some flowers
and after the family gathering
the promise that he is in our prayers.

James Cole