Oh, Ian, so suddenly you’re gone.
These cold purple lips
through our twenty-five years together
kissed the smokes
sank deep the 19th hole with your mates
cheerily asked for the bad news
at every visit, while I kept saying
what doctors are expected to say
along with ritual weigh-ins
lab tests and prescriptions
and all that diabetic crap.
Bald, bearded, round
this face under the sheet.
Your iron defence, always jovial
to an anxious edge
as you borrowed time nearing sixty.
Sure, Ian, you accepted late
the need for needles
and made your peace with pills
but the habits of a single bloke
life-blood and death-trap
were never really on
the negotiating table