The Common and the particular

Charles Cowling

 

Posted by Vale

I like these men and women who have to do with death,
Formal, gentle people whose job it is,
They mind their looks, they use words carefully.

I liked that woman in the sunny room
One after the other receiving such as me
Every working day. She asks the things she must

And thanks me for the answers. Then I don’t mind
Entering your particulars in little boxes,
I like the feeling she has seen it all before.

There is a form, there is a way. But also
That no one come to speak for a shade
Is like the last, I see she knows that too.

I’m glad there is a form to put your details in,
Your dates, the cause. Glad as I am of men
Who’ll make a trestle of their strong embrace

And in a slot between two other slots
Do what they have to every working day:
Carry another weight for someone else.

It is common. You are particular.

The poem is by David Constantine. It was found in Neil Astley’s Anthology Being Human. You can find it here. Hat tip to Sweetpea.

2 thoughts on “The Common and the particular

  1. Charles Cowling
    james showers

    Good heavens, someone actually likes us and finds what we do extraordinary. Whew.


    Charles Cowling
  2. Charles Cowling
    Evelyn

    Make a trestle of their strong embrace…carry another weight for someone else.
    I love that thought- isn’t this what all try to do?


    Charles Cowling

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