So, how do I speak of Joe?
I could try to enumerate all the ways he was known
As our son, Eve’s brother, the grandson, ...
But it just seems a detached reckoning.
I could try to recount stories of Joe. So many stories,
so many people with stories of Joe,
proud and laughed, told and retold.
Here, now, there will be smiles inside, glimmers of Joe.
I keep returning to the mundane.
Joe taking up the whole sofa,
sunbathing in the backyard,
crashing about the kitchen cooking for the four of us,
in Leeds looking at cafe menus,
his music always on, always loud.
In London, we dropped Joe off to catch the tube.
Unusually, he headed the wrong way.
We shouted directions. He bounced along, iPod blasting,
and just kept going, oblivious.
In the end, we agreed he would find his own way.
Now we must learn what life is without him.
So, what remains?
I have to hope the answer is in what binds us.
We are the people Joe loved.
We are the people who loved Joe.
This is our commonwealth, Joe's testament.
We have shared his gifts.
Honest, gentle Joe
Comfortable with himself, accepting of others
Wise yet unknowing
My darling boy
Our kind man
My fish.
He found his own way.
He can light ours.
noc, October 2009