Saturday, May 7, 2016

Poem A Week No 1 - At your funeral mass

At your funeral mass
Poem for Peter S. & for Elaine, Sharon, Dan & Nate

I am not listening to the priest
not looking towards the altar.
Not saying the words.
I stand up, sit down
when told, but no
song no words come forth at all,
no call and response.
I listen to the resonant soprano singing,
the echo of it in the empty space above.
I look sidelong, avoid the casket in the center isle
hidden under a white cloth and a symbol
that means nothing to me now.
I try to look right through the
vivid stained glass scenes.
I notice the intense blue
red, green, not the figures
or the stories they portray.
I wish instead I could see the sky
or a river, the sea or a mountain
a tree bright in the daylight
beyond those windows.
Or you on the lake in your sail boat
with your boys, family, friends
and your ready nonchalant smile.

This poem is for the exhusband of a good friend who's unexpected death caused a lot of stock taking. First of the group to fall as they say. It's not that we were particularly close - it's that he is my age I guess and I remember him from his hey day. The photo is from someone else's facebook post. I hope they don't mind.