This is my English grandmother, whose last words I do not know. According to his poem, among the last words of William Carlos Williams’ English grandmother were “What are all those / fuzzy-looking things out there? / Trees? Well, I’m tired / of them.”
My mother sent me this photo the other day, because it reminded her of a poem I wrote. She didn’t say whether the photo was actually taken at Kew Gardens, but it would not be unreasonable to think so.
One can grow sometimes tired of everything, heavy bored, with trees, with life. One can fall into a vacant and pensive mood. Another William says you can cure this with daffodils.
Yesterday was the first day of spring. I’ve seen no daffodils, but my goodness, the crocuses!
Once, parking in Cambridge, I bumped into the car behind me, and shouted out Goodness me!
On any number of other occasions of failure I have shouted Shit!
Yesterday, for instance, when I failed with the curtains. Or last week, when I failed with the squash. I have yet to shout anything while writing a poem, because the failure there is slow, not sudden.
If my death is sudden, I might not have time to shout anything.
Or maybe I will. Emo Philips has this advice: “Always remember the last words of my grandfather, who said: A truck!’