Before You Went
Was it to be a woven willow casket –
or maybe a bio-degradable one –
a ‘natural burial’, perhaps, at Olney?
Or then again – maybe your ashes
thrown to the tide off Southwold Pier;
‘Child of the Sea’, as you were.
Would I make sure, everyone all
wore bright colours; no black allowed,
you stressed, with that smile of yours...
Even the vicar, you quipped, with
a glint in those blue-gray eyes.
And how about the music? How
about, All Creatures Great and Small –
Clair de Lune; both pieces you played,
so well, on piano, I suggested.
It wasn’t to be called a ‘funeral’...
more, ‘A Celebration of Life’, you said,
and there had to be flowers – hundreds
and hundreds of them.
I wanted to tell you this was tearing
me apart – that I could never have imagined,
in my worst nightmare, the scenario
that afternoon... sitting on a bed
discussing all this with you...
wanted to admit, that enough was enough –
ask you, would I ever be able to conjure
you up, as you were then... looking out
the window at the tangled hedgerow...
so calm – so innocent so vulnerable.
Tomorrow was all you ever longed for.
Winter jasmine was in bloom; its star-like
fragrant blossom fair singing, from deep
within that darkling scrim.