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Tuesday, 5 July 2011


Peter, in the last days
we shared the 101 secrets
which made our lives important
24 hours a day for 6 days
and still not one fight over
who should buy the suntan oil
ask the girls from New York to dance
get drunk or not get drunk
Peter, all the cliches of "the good die young"
are ringing truer

You quickly learned the haunts
of curly-tailed lizards
The holiday wasn't complete
until you spotted the first one
scuttling in the undercut caves
of pine roots and beach sand.
I showed you how to shake a clump
of beached seaweed
free tiny shrimps
to dance on demerara sands

Peter, I would compare your life
to that mad shrimp dance
but I remember a single fish among the shrimplets
slipping loose from the seaweed rag
struggling to return
silvery free to a finer element
so much like my tears

in memory of Peter Flosznik, who died in a motorbike accident while on holiday in Freeport, Bahamas, 1982

published in Foot Through the Ceiling: poems & haiku by Chris Faiers
Aya Press, Toronto, 1986
recipient inaugural Milton Acorn People's Poetry Award, 1987

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