Last night in my dream
by Pete Crowther
I saw Philip Larkin.
He was talking to the teller
at the bank—heads bent
both whispering of money.
I asked him how he went about
the business of writing a poem.
“I always use a songbook',
he explained, “the words are almost
poetry already. It makes it so much
easier that way to write in verse”.
Two sparrows by his bed
began to peck at crumbs
from the fragments of two cakes
on a plate, on his bedside table.
When they made as if to eat
the untouched chocolate cake,
I shooed them both away—
their flight was slow. I told him
Andrew Motion, the Poet Laureate,
had asked me to attend his reading
of a Larkin poem. He made a moue
but did not say I should not go.
Beside the bed and next
to the untouched chocolate cake
there was a very rotten apple.
Light as gossamer it was,
though when I picked it up to give to him,
he shrank away. His face
was slightly swollen. It seemed
to glisten. I thought he looked sickly
as he did the last time I saw him,
that time he smiled at me.