The funeral (a poem)

The funeral

—-

Along the crumbling sides

slithering deep in their

disturbed home the worms

turned from her cries

A virginal tongue hung

out of the gaping mouth

where a trail of garlic

tinged, spittle dribbled

along the pale cheek

above the white collar

—-

The decrepit retiree, who had only

the week before, in a moment of

clarity concerning the inevitable,

picked out his own final home;

a mahogany coloured box

with fake silver handles and

a cross in the style of a Celtic

Warrior’s sword-handle emblem,

dragged a shot from a newly lit

Major, watching the smoke trail

in blue fog circles through a ray

of freezing sunlight and yawned

—-

The busy one who never missed

a funeral, state occasion or the

seldom invited weddings

nodded a fickle head

Containing a barren brain,

Supported on a crooked body,

Turned to his non attentive neighbour

who ignored his complaints of

annoyance at the delay the

audacity would cause to the

rest of his self important daily

schedule of gossip filled meetings

There was a brown jackass in the glen

who regularly refused to comply

and a herd of cattle in the pasture

waiting with teats in need of emptying,

united in ignoring the amorous

advances of a rampant bull jailed

behind an unfortunate white washed wall.

On the hill above the honey valley

a goat mixed with sheep consuming

anything foolish enough to succumb

to natures desire to bring

forth a vegetative head or end

out of the craggy stone-dotted soil

In a wooden shack a chicken delivered

Her morning prize unaware of a bushy

Tailed devious desire for her flesh

All of them combined in a distinct

Lack of concern for the occurrence

The boy’s body never flinched

His eternal sleep unperturbed

His soul shed not a single tear

His mother’s prone body

six foot down, five foot length

ways and loads of feet around

shook with her loss of the only

One who smiled at her for no

reason other the inherent desire

to reply to her own

The cantankerous man

who smile was never found

who grumbled at teenagers

who snuffled at gossipers

who cursed freely at priests

and shopkeepers and everyone

in-between, with equal resolve

reached out unthinking a hand

calloused but gentle to take her

from her refuge, ignoring the

Scratches, leaving the broken nails

in his cheek to be removed in time.

She melted into him until the heart beat

steadied and the mind fogged enough

to never forget but to survive

as the patient clay filled the space

She had vacated.

—-

© francie mcgivney spain summer 2015

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