Obituary – Tamsin Cottis


Subbing memories. Below the man.
Friends and lovers knew. In letters.
They told me. Your words and music.
Their children. You gave them.
Attention and time. I mined sentences.
Adapting. 87 years into 400 words.
Remembering. I imagined your pride.
Once. You said to newly published me.
The girl’s got it! I stored your words.
In my thesaurus of ways. To describe.
Love you mostly did not show or tell.
Cutting. Through the view of you.
At piano or desk. Back turned.
Hour after hour. I chipped at syntax.
Looking for you. Indent line-break edit.
Insertion omission errata. I made.
More from less. Though I lost you.
At the end of breath. I found you.
Dad. In the full stops.

Tamsin lives in east London. She is a child psychotherapist who has written widely about her work. Her poetry and short fiction has been published by, among others, Mslexia, Atrium, Rattle Tales, Flashback Fiction, Verve Poetry Press and Brittle Star. She is on twitter @tamsin cottis 

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