Wednesday 18 May 2016

A Wake

There should have been three sisters.

My eldest made tea and ushered petalled trays between  mourner and mourner.
My other sat hushed at your feet weeping.
I smiled and drank tea.

It was to be a long wake
And so
The undertaker said that the window should remain open.

You would have got up and closed it, I was thinking,
as I looked at you stretched and immaculate
Your dark blue suit edged with lace trim coffin
Your hands cold dough, your mouth slightly twisted.

"Doesn't he look beautiful!" they said.

You didn't look like you at all.

Mary, Martha and Mother hovered
while I stood smiling
Until they worn out with grief
left me to do the watching.
Just you and me, and me avoiding.
I ran out of tea and chat and mass card reading.

It was time to allow
That you were not going to get up and close that window
That the lace trim that stirred
was not moved by your heart beating
That your mason's hands would fold no more stone
to your bending, plumb no more lines.

It was time
Your time and mine
And we took it....

And next day when I should before a hushed crowd reading
I was ready to cross over
To let you cross over
And I was strengthened by your passing.

Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2016

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