A cortege has just passed.
Huge black motor cars
cutting their ponderous way
through the street. The occupants
all have washed this morning,
and donned black habits
and white manners through which
little grains of shock discreetly
stammer on whisky breath
of spiked dawn tea, and tangle
in the netting and respectable gloom.
There are tell-tales on the faces:
poor whoever it was
going to a better place
there was a smile on his face
he's at rest, you see
thank God it's not me.
Something comforting about a funeral,
somebody else's; second chance perhaps.
Cars of all colours belting past now.
The street takes a deep breath
and smiles as though it had never happened.
This is my favourite poem of Alex, my late husband, who always managed to see the funny side of things, and remark on them.