i. In Attendance
From the boundary of cypresses,
the cassock-wings of a hang-glider
minister closer and closer.
On the chapel path, a fresh droplet
of black oil from the hearse
has put out and lost a human form,
only minutes since delivery
of the diminutive, beribboned box.
Beyond the hedges
round each raked and numbered bed,
the town, the world, resumption,
stand back for blotch-red grief,
a couple’s stumbling timelessness.
Nervously, sympathy gets ready,
to be useful, with useless arms.
ii. A Small Do
Engine capacities and
a couple’s performing dog
keep the conversation going;
so does someone’s child
at her elbow,
with a noisy toy;
with its absence, still.
to plug the holes
in her pretence,
until, on the drive home,
the wintry sun
breaks through the mist,
and a perfect Turner sky,
with its therapeutic banality,
graces a silence she can bear.