12 months ago today I lost my best friend, Suzy, to breast cancer. Recently, I drove past her old house and was sad to see her car gone from the space where it used to be, the empty house unlit. I’m working on this poem at the moment, it’s still in draft form.


They took her car away on Sunday,

loaded it onto the wagon, hearse-slow,

bringing neighbours to the windows,

stopping bikes and a five-a-side.

It looked tiny, toy tin thin

as they strapped it in,

the coat hanger aerial stirred

like a weathervane;

the sun strong behind cloud.

A small crowd gathered on the corner

in sad whispers, a congregation

of questions

and murmurs, claims of who best knew her,

was last to see her, first to know.

The empty driveway,

faded chalk figures holding hands,

the ghost of a hopscotch.

The wagon moves off,

the congregation dispurse, return

to busy kitchens and the cleaning of windows,

the five-a-side kicks off again as a

bike wheel spins in the sun,

the wagon has almost gone,

her bumper sticker:

Fight Cancer.

IOB 25.3.15



About Ian O'Brien

I am a teacher and scribbler, living in Manchester, UK.
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2 Responses to Removals

  1. John Foster says:

    A very genuine yet artful poem, emotionally evocative. I can feel the loss in your words.

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