A mid – Covid memory of a funeral as it should be. A poem by Clem Henricson

Sitting on a bench for more than an hour
may have made a seven year old child light headed
compressed by the vault above fixated
by the box below; when distracted
a skittish eye would flit about the space
like a bee worrying the windows
with their grimy corners, transforming
to a bird brushing the rafters showering
dust on the multitude of heads,
converting to a moth discreetly landing
on the coffin, lid open, a home coming
into the undulation of once warm
black cloth and wood.

Would that I could lie alongside with
sombre music dripping from the walls,
the air damp, incensed and reeking
of gravitas with a host of eyes on me;
all the bodily fidgets by and large held
in check paying homage in black, no
challenge from colour, not even a
glimmer of hope for the quick, for after
all they are the quick and should rein in;
this time is for the dead, in memoriam,
no facile blast of joy, no word mincing – thank God.


Clem Henricson FRSA is a writer and philosopher. Recently she has published articles on ‘Making Space for Melancholy’ and ‘Melancholy and the Pandemic’ calling for commemoration of the dead on a par with war memorials. web site: clemhenricson.com

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