To Dick Thompson

It came as a great shock to me
That you had died so suddenly,
Big man with a big heart;
The thing I remember most about you is
Your irrepressible sense of humour.

That and that (in retrospect) hilarious incident
In the parcels depot at Leeds.
We neither of us thought the train would stop,
And I tore my trousers
And cut my leg jumping clear.
Do you remember that, Dick?

And a couple of days later
You gave me a new pair of trousers
With which youd been issued, but never used.

Motorway madness...
That was one of your favourites expressions,
Do you remember?
Motorway madness, John - youd say;
You always called me John,
Many people did, even though
Id changed my name some time back.

I wish Id gone to your funeral
Instead of to...to see her,
That should have been a higher priority for me
Than a cheap thrill on Humberside.

Its all of two years now
Since I saw you making a quip
In the messroom at Holbeck,
Or donning your crash helmet in the lobby,
Yet it seems like only yesterday,
And although I know it to be true,
Sometimes I cant believe youre really dead.

Back To Poetry Index