Writing 201: Trust

His perfectly timed punchline

In back, in black,

the blokes told jokes in the hearse

and what’s worse, I laughed

like a drain

swilling effluent to the sea.

When Peter Mater turned to me to say

“Has anyone told the stiffy joke yet?”

I hid my mouth beneath

the collar of my coat.  Faux fur

tickled my nose, made me sneeze.

Reaching for the tissues, grandma patted my hand.

Reassured.

 

 At the graveside, my belly vibrated

like a pneumatic drill

When in all seriousness

Alan Smith said,

“God, who digs graves?”

Gaunt faces but mine,

hidden between my knees.

My back convulsing.  Mam’s

face frosted above me. 

“Now, love,”  she said, “tis God’s way!”

  

The wake, and no mistake,

was at number 54.  Hers with the

42 double Ds and the secret

smile.  And all the while

talking about a dead man

as though she knew him

better than Mam.  Better

than Alan or Peter or me.

© Jacqui Thatcher 2015

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