richard pierce

richard pierce

16 March 2011

One year on - thinking of an absent friend

A year ago today, a friend and fellow cricketer, James Grigg, was killed in action in Afghanistan. I wrote the poem below when I heard the news, and was honoured to be asked to read it at his funeral.

I have been thinking about James all day, and about his family. I thought it appropriate to share the poem again, against the backdrop of what's happening in Japan and New Zealand. Our private grief is our strongest.

One of us (in memory of James Grigg)

He walks among us,
The twelfth man on our team,
With that invisible loping gait,
That dangerous mouth.

Low to the ground,
His hands ready,
A predator, an undefined haze
In the afternoon sun.

He chases from one to the other,
Whispers encouragement,
Barks at the opposition,
A smiled challenge.

Always in white,
Always in whites,
He claps us in,
Dares us to begin again.