"Meeting Peter Porter a Year After his Death": a poem by Tim Liardet

To see you walk back from the bar, balancing
An especially large Sauvignon in each hand,
Already talking your way through a thought,
Assuming I was present at the birth of it;
All optimism features there in the sway
Of those depths of clarity in a long-stemmed glass
Which brim with fuel of talking, clear and yet opaque
And explained by spilt light . . . the dead do not stay
Dead for long, you say. Of course they don’t, you say.

Bright faced, already tipsy, you tread warily
And at a certain angle your spectacles flash
Against a screen of equally bright optics which gasp
For those who are neither leaving nor staying.
You resume mid-sentence, as if I’d travelled
All the way with you to meet me,
All that way along the deepest line;
So intent on not spilling a drop, but swaying,
You look up smiling, you say, as I was saying . . .

This article first appeared in the 04 March 2013 issue of the New Statesman, The fall of Pistorius