......for kwaku Agyeman
A number where a name should be: Immigrant No.8.
A plaque set roughly into concrete, stained with damp.
Two dates. The first for when a skinless body was discovered;
a second for the burial.
His widow prone against the stone-
crying speaking. To her husband through tears
from the stomach of her sorrow.
Pressed warmth on the stone-
compacted human grief.
A storm's foul news tossed up at sea,
three days adrift of a name.
Flowers, like tears, trail on the stone-
bright tongues bruised and crumpled;
their only freshness in grief.
Michael Lee Rattigan was born in Croydon, England. He studied at the University of Kent and Trinity College Dublin. He has lived and taught in Cancun, Mexico and Palma de Mallorca. Through Rufus Books he has published “Nature Notes” and a complete translation of Fernando Pessoa's Caeiro poems.
(author retains copyright)