I got a parrot once who said “mourning is not a competitive sport”
Did I say parrot? I meant parent. I guess he knew whereof he spoke.
But he did not speak Wolof he spoke the “echt anglais”
And sometimes we didn’t speak to each other for days and days and days.
Now they’re all gone: the parent, the parrot, the Wolof
The dynasty that doesn’t even remember its greatest days
When tyrants in robes of sea-lion and shelk inscribe their punitive laws
And dark mythologies in the intricate hidden whirlings of a whelk.
Easy does it! said the last people left in town when the last train left
There’s no easy way to say this any more — we are just bereft.