In Memory of Blank Space

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In Memory of Blank Space

_____ worked as a repairman
fixing machine tools
as a mechanic he was skilled
but his life was not as cool

He used to say, you know my wife
she’s madly in love with me
but she’d divorced him years ago
his son was deathly ill

One day in december he said this crisis
will strangle some, you bet
everyone thought of businesses going bankrupt
but he was already set

Through his laughter I seemed to detect
some defiance in his eye
but none of us could really expect
he had resolved to die.

Clients keep calling, they won’t let go
they ask me for detail
but how he did it, I don’t want to know
and anyway I wouldn’t tell

People are curious to hear the story
people have no shame
people are hungry for all things gory
and for someone to blame

It was that way that we found out
we were being had
he’d taken up jobs he’d not told us about
the manager went mad

He called him selfish, he called him a worm
mean and cowardly
for the trouble he’d caused to the firm
and his own family.

So my job for the following week
was to erase
his name from every record and sheet
leaving a blank space

He suffered a second death as he disappeared
through my unwilling hand
a man’s name is sacred, it can’t be cleared
like scribbles on the sand

Now, after his unforgiven deception
all that’s left of him in this place
are scratches on the glass reception
where he’d carelessly put his briefcase

If you ask me, I can’t believe
a person really might
kill himself on Christmas Eve
as an act of spite

Who are they to judge and complain
are they really so blind
not to understand he was a victim of pain?
He was a troubled mind.

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