0211 It Takes All Sorts - Poem by Michael Shepherd
It takes all sorts to make a world, they say
(how do 'they' know anyway?) :
but it certainly looks like that here this sunny day:
some just want to be as ordinary as they can be.
don't want to stand out in a crowd.
some don't want to be noticed at all.
some are the opposite - pompous, arrogant, reckon they've made it..
some have fallen flat on their face - as happens.
some get fresh flowers every week from secret admirers.
some are only smartened up once a year when their distant relations come to look them up.
some would like us to know that they know Latin or Greek or both.
some have a ready biblical text on their lips. Or a favourite hymn.
some are war heroes but are truly modest about it.
some are genuinely famous and want you to know it - or their relatives do.
some are unashamedly sentimental.
some are at the mercy of relatives who know what one should do.
The tombstones in Brompton Cemetery are a shoulder-to-shoulder lot;
too many to take in or care individually about
unless you check the one you've been sunbathing beside.
But as you rollerblade down the broad main avenue
in your sunglasses
with your sweater around your waist,
an ice-cream in one hand
and a small paper bag from the chemist in the other,
you may have missed that
every tombstone has a cheerful soul sitting on it
all looking about 35 years old, curiously,
swinging their feet in the sun and chatting with each other
and commenting lightly as you pass
with your doctor's prescription from the chemist,
wondering what you'll make of your life. Or have done so far....
You should listen to them one day.
They're pretty good judges of character by now.
But not everybody notices them.
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