Thursday, 10 February 2011

The Gathering

                Compartmented us,
devised into groups and finished with rose-
wood, apart, together, blue-
prints of a deathbed imposed upon tradition;

                a family of funerals, made
with years of rings in the wood of trade,
today built for a funeral in-house –
we measure our hours with grief

                and plane them until tear-
marked and smooth, a section at a time,
tasks delegated; polishing the handles
that we will hold to carry it, fining

                the finest finish of edges,
tissues of sandpaper burning our eyes; we
must not wipe our noses on this, nor
count the grief in knots and dovetails

                as a father sets varnish to brass
and a mother holds his hand over hand and
spreads the gleaming light to the coffin-sides;
sons and daughters standing in reflection.

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