And lo, the hymns that escort the departed
tumble down from their parched lips
like comets, leaving dimming trails, wonder-less,
a thrumming pain clinging to ear
like a gnawing sloth.
slobbering, the women thrash, prostrate themselves
against ground, hallowed, harrowing too.
And yet, the boy, the heir; secure in ignorance,
holds fate in his humble features—
He doesn’t understand the vaudeville,
But he’s elated— father never
looked more at peace than in that purple casket;
that box blistered and bulbed with pomp
and as I lay him in the ground
no other hands could’ve been more suitable,
to deliver him from their greedy deeps.
Dirt to dirt— God’s taxes returned to God,
a hail breaks loose from the heavens,
liquid manna for the tearless,
scattering them crows, like winnowed chaff—
washing away their blind gaudy sins
downward—tears and rain rill a Styx for the freshly laid.
I stand alone, amongst old graves, the company I keep—
headstones for nudging pats and rotting wreaths
for pillows—this be my harem—
leaning against my shovel, drenched, scented with death,
I wonder just now, looking at calloused gifted hands—
who undertakes the undertaker?