Were All There
for Geoffrey Hill
The seller of used-cars, his cigar
Noisome, quasi-Cuban; the nuncio
In his scrim of pallium: didn’t cough.
The neverseen neighbour (gay?)
Who stopped to say he was “sorry”.
& his Romanic subdeacons with
Collection nets on poles, horizontal
Gondoliers with monstrous patens.
The Smiths, wizards, women; Children
Cursed by the undertaker & his
Stained presence; Keeners; Common
& Collect; The old friend
With his index cards (too large)
Ready to play apologist.
The rest of it.