Death is always asking me for poems, jealous of the time I spend on politics and love. It’s not what she needs from this relationship, she says. The juicy death she dangles I find so hard to resist. Like the girl who lost her mother’s hand, the man who threw his baby from the tower. The more she demands the more I decline, even when we reach an anniversary. She’s tried to simplify the deal, sends me handy rhyming words for murder, a long list of lives she’ll claim are accidents of birth or accidents. She knows that when the living have read how she must feel she will be happy.
Paul McGrane is the co-founder of Forest Poets in Walthamstow, and The Poetry Society Membership Manager. In 2016 he was Highly Commended in the YorkMix Poetry Competition and Longlisted in the South Bank Poetry Competition.