Tom French

The Living Room

Tom French

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for Ruaridh Thornton, at 7 and at 21 & for Rifleman Robert Frederick Kerbey 6924970


When he glanced in

at his grandfather

in the living room,

in his brand-new coffin,


Ruaridh enquired – “Did Bob

know he was going to die?” –

as if Death was a visitor

you dressed up for,


and Bob had showered

and shaved, combed his hair,

dried and dressed himself,

climbed in and simply lay down.


Then Ruaridh went one better –

“I’d love to have a go

in Bob’s coffin for about

twenty minutes” – as though


time was what we had,

and there was nothing

on this green earth, nothing

that could not be shared.


Tom French


Tom French's collections are published by The Gallery Press. He lives in County Meath.

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