After The Funeral




On listening to the recording of my mother’s funeral

Plastic words on a plastic tape,
so much unsaid and some I never knew,
a stranger’s voice telling your life’s tale
circuiting with care the sad disgrace
making you seem a gentle person now
who I can hardly recognise from this
my mind still locked in childhood rooms
of railing bitterness and hate
where like my father I had turned my back:
arrived too late this time to say goodbye.

Tears came more than I ever thought,
glimpsing again the gentle happier days
that I had lost and came too late to save.
Is this what death must bring to me, regret
spun with sadness from a plastic reel,
to learn at last how much I truly feel?


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