(Copying and pasting this gets rid of some of the formatting which kind of takes away from the poem a little…)
one s l o o o o o w
(cancer, emotional brain)
Doctor fitting a catheter in the next room,
while we conjure up
cheerful conversation to drown out
tea goes c o l d.
—Musician sings: you raise me up
as the body is
The procession crumbles and quivers
with spasmodic tears and suffocating hugs from strangers
as the soil is dusted, sprinkled like manure
over the ornate wooden box
5 red roses and a pink one
(for the baby)
a subtle scent of flowers, febreze and flesh wounds
—the night nurse makes a call
to witness those final, tentative exhalations
(hoovered cheekbones and mannequin eyes)
undertakers struggle to manoeuvre
coffin through the narrow hallway;
like moving a piano down
curving flights of stairs
—he was tall.
Hospital bed deflated, dismantled,
ready for its next temporary user.
a wheelchair and a paper trail
date of birth, social security number,
bank statements without a f a c e…
—a tin of paint and everything will be fine.