This is the picture of the Balfron Tower in London, by Simon Terrill, which is mentioned in the poem.
My son Benn was Project Manager on this project, which was completed the day after he died in 2010. Some of his friends, including his partner Gayna, are in the photo, and it is dedicated to his memory.
Halfway down the stairs
is the stair where I sit.
There isn’t any other stair
quite like it.
It’s night now. Halfway up the stairs
I stop, and pull the blind down
over a dusty row of stones and pebbles
on the windowsill.
It’s not at the bottom,
it’s not at the top,
but this is the stair
where I always stop.
The stairs turn back on themselves
giving a few steps to decide
whether to go on up,
or wait, or change my mind.
To the left of the window is the picture
Simon Terrill took of the Balfron tower
in London. Benn was the Project Manager.
He should have been there.
To the right is a picture of three ancient
Japanese women dressed in their finest.
They are not smiling.
The picture was Benn’s.
Halfway up the stairs isn't up and isn't down. It isn't really anywhere – it's somewhere else instead.
Halfway up the stairs
is an echo of the man
who made me
as much as I made him.
Late last night upon the stair I saw a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today –
and I don’t wish he’d go away.
I wish he was here.
Sometimes I wish, I wish
he could have stayed.
Acknowledging AA Milne and Hughes Mearns