Norman’s Goodnight

One drops
in a bunker,
another on his doorstep,
Christmas morning, shovelling snow.

When I go
may it be like that,
a short fall down and out
while busy in open air

like a pigeon, say,
winging it across clear sky,
sways then plummets,
brought down by stray buckshot.

And may there be time
to murmur as I fold
some word of thanks
and letting go -

like the last time I saw MacCaig
standing at his door;
as I turned the stair
his hand came up, waved:

Ta-ta. Ta-ta.
Masterly concision -
'Thank you' and
'Goodnight' in one.

I hope to be
even briefer as I fall:

Ta -

This Life, This Life: New and Selected Poems 1976-2006

Last updated March 28, 2023