Funeral coats heavy and low,
trousers riding spit-polish brown,
knuckles whitening on the handles;
old and young, surprised at the weight.
They always are, the bearers of the dead.
It was hardly a funeral at all: a hymn
to which no one knew the words, strains of notes
in a soul-less hall. No vicar. Not required.
Not today; not since the wedding, long time since.
Then the cars gathered, lights on, far and near
and they lowered him in to stony ground;
dirt rattled on the lid, down beyond the sun.
The widow turned, smart in black.
Well, she said, not a bad day for it –
and she brushed hair from her dry eyes