Monday, 26 September 2011


Around a year ago my friend Becca was diagnosed with cancer, and a few weeks ago she died. She was a really good person, and I wrote a poem for her. This is that poem. It doesn't rhyme, much.


One day at the pub after church
There were three Beckys
Instead of the usual two

The third one was you

The others were Becky Smithson and Becky Stirrup

If they were threatened by this further reduction
Of their unique Beckiness
They didn't show it

And anyway
You weren't a Becky
You were Becca
With an 'a'

And yes, Rob, you had a boyfriend

You had delicate, translucent skin
A matter of fact voice
And intelligent eyes

I grew to think you were quite brilliant
And although you never said it
I can only imagine you thought I was the coolest, tallest, handsomest and most interesting guy you'd ever met in your entire life

My old English teacher
Mrs Roschild
Used to hate the word 'nice'
"Throw it out of the window!" she used to say
In her mad and borderline violent way
So appreciate my effort as I break through childhood conditioning to say

You were nice

I saw you married in the rain
Looking weird and differently beautiful without your glasses
Slightly mischievous
You and Jim playing grownups
In a big stone church

I flirted ineffectually with your friends
Wished you the best
For the future

The future

Sitting by your hospital bed
Assuming this is just a blip

Hearing Bad News
Driving on the A642

Realsing I missed my last opportinity to see you
While watching the Bourne Ultimatum at Kev's

Last chance for now at least

And now there are
Two Beckys where there were three

Except we don't forget
Except we think, maybe
Somehow, in some mad, incomprehensible way
we'll meet again

In some celestial pub
With free wine
And thousands of Beckys

But only one Becca