For Jordan

Out driving our first cars at night
snaking the blackness of North East country roads
I’d flick the headlights off
hear the girls scream
then back on and we’d crack up laughing

In our town, there wasn’t much to do
but wander looping streets
haunt the park outside of college
blow house to house, see who was home
or spend it lying in your bedroom laughing

When you and Chris split, he handled it okay
drank too much a week or two and then
got a little down but everything went on
still way too soon for Mike to tell you
so we all sat as friends and laughed

Back then, I couldn’t think of much else but Jenny
but I loved the way you’d say my family name
still hear it ringing from the depths of memory
standing with you in some sticky bar
and you collapsing into Mike laughing

They were gentle times, good times
before we were scattered wide
I don’t think I saw or thought of you that often
twenty years just paced before our eyes
how I hope you kept on laughing

With your man, your son
your life carved out somewhere…

On a Brighton beach, one weekend this summer
Mike was chatting, said ’the cancer took you’
and nothing more to add to that
just taken – that’s all he knew
there on the pebbles, I stood, winded and weeping

Just taken – nothing more to add to that

Jordan, it was laugher, laughter
of you; that will always be my memory
sweet laughter, laughter
and the way you spoke my family name…


Thanks for reading.

This poem is featured in my new book! ‘The Ship-wrecker’s Lamp: Selected Poems 2010 – 2020’ available now.

Published by

Tom Alexander

"Art is a lie that tells the truth"

19 thoughts on “For Jordan”

      1. Thanks Peter, what a lovely thing to hear. Every word of this poem is true (a rare thing). So, it’s especially encouraging to know it worked somehow.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Colin. I’m not sure how ‘poetic’ it is exactly, but I wanted to record this person and this feeling; both of which definitely were poetic.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. oh I think it’s very poetic Tom – it flows well and the conversational style is right up my street. My only reservation is the last 12 lines which might read better tightened up as 2 x 5 line stanzas like the rest. I’m not sure the last 4 lines are wholly needed. I think ‘Just taken – nothing more to add to that’ would be an appropriately abrupt ending that would reflect the loss of your friend and ‘the cancer took you’ line. Hope you don’t mind me saying – I rarely offer feedback as poetry is so very personal but when I do it’s usually because I like the poem lots, have connected with it and see some scope to maybe lift it to the next level, if that makes sense. I’ll call myself a taxi now!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Colin, it’s so rare to get constructive feedback on a poem that when I do, I absolutely take it on board. If it’s almost worked for someone, then that’s a sign there’s something there… thank you! I want include this in self published book of my poems (in the next few months) and I’ll try to incorporate your suggestions a revised version of the poem. Watch this space. Please do feel free to chip in whenever you see fit. 👍🏼

        Liked by 1 person

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