The open secret


His props: the tracksuit and the silver hair
those chunky gold chains and cigar in hand

We never knew him, though he was well-known
Iconic, humoured like the River Thames

This TV uncle with an undertow
A hedonist who pawed, and groped, and raped

In hospitals, on cruises, in care homes

An alibi of causes he ran for
An oddball floating safe in rumor’s tide

Who died a knight, until the water dropped
Revealing reeds, an empty mould-green cot.