ramblings and things

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December 1998

For Tony Hawkins, who died too young, December '78, after a short illness and a short, but full, full, life

hawkins was a friend of mine for not nearly enough years
we'd do the guardian crossword whilst supping pints of beer
and once at the crowded blue bell  we grabbed him and his chair
and sent him on at shoulder height to the club room up the stairs
he went to yorkshire matches carefully placed at square
guardian ever on his knee pint balanced on his chair.
and when we went together my role was ever clear
I was the sober driver hawkins enjoyed the beer
after I got married we didn't see each other so much
but we knew where the other was and  kept in touch
I rang hawkins to tell him my second son  was born
they'd been trying to reach  me to tell me he was gone
hawkins died a young man having done as he was told
his surgeon had said enjoy yourself you'll not live to be old

a nagging breeze was blowing as we walked back to the cars
just enough to chill us then and later walking to the bar
we said goodbye at the zoological a decision he'd have cheered
and first round on the table one untouched pint of beer
hawkins was the bravest of men I was not the only one in tears
I'll not meet another like him still missed through all these years.

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December 1998