A Pang

i.m. Patrick Lowman 



I’m sure you knew 

but left it –  


that I was shamefully completely 

wrong about Jaan Kaplinski. 


Postman shopkeeper 

bits and bobs when I knew you, 


your father beat you literate. 

You skipped school, 

worked on the barrows, 

went for a soldier. 


Men from your regiment 

looked you up, 

wry reliable friend. 


Some came the day your wicker 

basket was put 

cold under soil among trees, 

stars and the wind. 


You’re always no longer 

there when I go back –  


a face on the pub wall 

with wiry grey 

swept hair 


About Kaplinski, Pat –  


forgive me. 



from The Missing Months (Faber, 2022), © Lachlan MacKinnon 2022, used by permission of the author and publisher, Faber & Faber Ltd.

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