In memory of my elder brother John (Jack) Grehan – (19th January 1940-22nd May 2003).

“Jack’s dead”, Jenny said.

“Died at 8 am.”

For a moment I am numb,
Then I remember Jen.

“I’m so sorry,” I say with passion.
Without comment, in her fashion,

Jen hangs up the phone,
And I am left alone.

Angrily I ask God why
Jack had to die,

Leave a widow to grieve,
Sons, sisters and brothers,
Friends and others,
And the answer came:
He’d been in pain
So long it was gain.

At night Gerry screams
As the death-train in his dreams
Hurtles through.

On Joe’s cheek there’s a tear
At some times of the year
When Jack’s memory flashes anew.

But Jack’s face on the wall,
Weather-beaten and all,
Smiles crookedly down at me.

I’m not bereft.
Jack hasn’t left.

His spirit is running free.

Jack’s on the wind of every storm
That blows in from the sea.

Jack’s in the sun and in the tide.

Jack talks in the sea-swell to me.

Where we scraped oysters from rocks by the bay,
Or ate fish and chips along the cay,
Where we climbed Grandma’s hill or walked the pier,
By the pool, or under the gnarled frangipanni tree,
Jack’s still there.