For Coxy

 When Paul died,
the sun fell across his bench
but finding it empty,
warmed it for a passer-by
who might fall
beyond the fringe,
to hide in plain view
far from sight.

 When Paul died,
haters competed with
the compassionate
for column space,
arguing the importance
of appearance,
demeanour and
what they might have done.

 When Paul died,
the Leader splurged,
donating four sentences:
one less than the fingers
on one life-smeared hand
long since disregarded
from seeking humanity
or a spare cigarette.

 When Paul died,
the chance for sweet innocence,
for compassion,
left with him.
Not everyone mocked
or recoiled
From "While I Wasn't Looking" (2017)
when told
to get fucked.

 When Paul died,
the adults who inhabit my children
remembered a hot summer,
a hat,
and a lesson
that keeps them giving,
grateful of opportunities.

 When Paul died,
one or two cared enough
to tell his story.
More than some,
less than most ...
whilst passers-by
noticed nothing
on Peel St

 but an empty bench.