C.J. ('Jonty') Driver

Song for an Unborn Brother

The one who should have been the first,

My mother lost at thirteen weeks.

My parents saved his name for me

And one there sleeps, and one here wakes.


I wonder what he might have been

Since what I am would not exist.

What little gap there seems to be

Between my body and the dust.


So when I'm dead (as dead as him)

Will I then seem as never born?

A shadow lost when lights went out?

A matchhead struck which didn't burn?


Abundance thrives despite our loss:

The glass reflects, the glass refracts -

My brother's flesh and my own self

Still suppositions more than facts.


(first published in the TLS, 29/5/09)