Waiting For The Dead

Sitting quietly
In unfamiliar silence. Waiting.
Three men unaccustomed to either the quiet or the wait.
The room, once so familiar
Now made unfamiliar by the gravity of change.
We three are not alone
Other fellows inhabit this space
Unseen but felt nonetheless.

Regret and Remorse
Had slipped in unbidden
Blown on the breeze of shared history.
Fragments of them now litter the floor
Where weary eyes cast down
Regarding polished shoes
Resigned to the hopelessness of it all.

Shame and Anger arrive
Slanting like errant sunbeams
Through the slightly askew window blind.
They fall to rest like dust
On the shoulders of us three
My brothers and I.

I pat my breast
Not in benediction or veneration
But checking there
For the prayers.
The words chosen without care
At random in truth.
No reflection of the man.
Gifts and prayers allocated
The running order of the following day decided.
To get it over and done
And then to be gone.
To let it all be forgotten
Under clay and shale.

“No drink” he had insisted.
“None will profit from my demise” he had cried.
Miserable to the last the bastard.
Hypocrisy from a man who in life had hidden whiskey in his unused work boots.
The publican did well from him in life
Why not now in death?
A last jibe perhaps
That his sons would stay dry
No comfort on this day.

So we sit, parched and drawn
Famished for the want of heat.
Comfortless among
Cups of Insipid tea
Made by a fussing maiden aunt
Who thought him a Saint.
Ham sandwiches
Cut into neat triangles
Waiting.

All laid out waiting, waiting
For the star.
The guest in his own home.
The purveyor of homespun hate
Of jealousy and spite.
John coughs.
“Its here” he nods.
The hearse on the drive
Carrying the coffin
And the corpse.
A Wake. A Wake
But no longer awake
Thank God.

© Dave Kavanagh @ daithiocaomanaigh.com

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