They reassort your genes
and sort through your things when you're gone.
They ask: why did he keep that ridiculous hat, those
palaeolithic music magazines?
Half to the tip, half to the Sallies,
plus a small urn on the mantelpiece,
three photos, the fading diaries
they can't quite bear to throw away.
They remember you at birthdays, Christmas.
You recede into scrapbooks,
the photos growing faint, your children's children
forgetting why they know your name.
File formats are rendered obsolete.
Anthologies go out of print.
In a provincial library, behind a rack of shelves,
your last book battles silverfish.
Ashes, vanity. The years
scroll past like autocues. Yet,
scavenging the ruins, or terraforming Mars,
still someone somewhere has your nose.
I love this poem - funny, poignant and sad, it taps into our small hidden fears and anxieties. It's just one of the many wonderful poems published in Tim's recently launched collection "Men briefly explained". i was lucky enough to attend the Auckland leg of the book tour and to hear Tim read. I also interviewed him for The Big Idea: http://www.thebigidea.co.nz/news/blogs/talkwrite/2011/oct/105031-cultural-storytellers-tim-jones