I work in an office of professional executors. We ensure that people’s Wills are seen through once they pass. Recently I encountered a new matter, which for some reason was referred for my particular attention.
Who would have thought,
That this year, he would die aged twenty-two
And require an executor.
They placed no file on my desk, no
Bundle of personal effects and papers:
Instead, I heard by email.
He died in service, leaving a small pension
– a pension, provision for a future
which was entirely untouched in value –
And a savings account which had a
Nil balance. Could we go through probate
For the lad. No family to do it for him.
I read the message twice in case
It was instead, some minor error,
A misplaced number and not
Grievous insult: but no, there it was,
A death certificate was readily available,
Signed by the registrar, all correct.
Signed by the registrar. I felt my age,
Synonymous with his, the same
Youth in my veins, twenty-two, as I typed
Further legal requirements and
Sat at my desk, to my entire shame,
Somehow rendered vulnerable.