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james mcgonigal
Poet  •  Critic

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       Shirt

Old shirt whose arms have enfolded mine on countless mornings
and whose tartan cloth has stretched to my beck and call

I know you have endured deaths by drowning and heat for me
only to wake in cool darkness at rest with your brothers.

Old friend who knows my body more intimately than most
I will add no codicil asking to be buried or burnt in you.

Far kinder surely the manumission of a charity shop rail
and getting used to the taste of some stranger’s poor bones.
 

Click on the poem title to read the next excerpted poem from Turning Over in a Strange Bed.