A litterbin of the past, one dented tartan tin
Holds a key to a something no-one quite remembers:
Buttons of Sunday jacket,
Saturday's dance dress -
There is also a red pencil, Braemar in golden letters,
Stamped on its side.
Buttons, key, pencil,
Have never grown fatter or thinner.
The buttons have lost their owners, but do not mourn them;
In the manner of buttons they are quite hard, quite brazen.
One button shone from my brother's blazer pocket.
Over the thunderous organ, his long, white fingers
Pressing keys, releasing hymns from silence,
The button reflecting the brass from altar and aisle.
The other is incognito.
The key may have opened amazement's door
To a china can-can dancer's jerky steps.
The pencil stamped Braemar in golden letters
Ran a red light one night in father's conscience;
Scribbled a passionate letter to a lover.
Leftovers, when we're dead, outlive us all.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.