“It’s just not on,” tutted Mum, unaware of the undone middle button on her cardigan
The flowers were late which curled her face into ugly irritation,
Trying in vain not to display an angry impatience,
For my dad’s sake.
I take the middle seat and I’m treated to the boulder-like shoulders of my sister and aunty
A rushing moped overtakes the hearse
My shirt sticks to my skin using sweat as glue
A man with a can in his hand uses his other to undo his trousers so he can water the flowers
A towering church spire conspired to blight the grey brushstroke of the sky
A sight which meant we’d arrived
Met by friends and family standing solemnly in black,
My uncle cracked his knuckles as if preparing for trouble.
General chat then we sat to hear the vicar to recall facts whilst I stiffened my back to ensure my chair didn’t creak
My dad’s turn,
Up to the lectern, the squeak of new shoes cut the silence violently.
He began and sang the praises of his dad’s faculties and flaws
The drawing of breath and limitations of language diminishing the communication what he really thought.
But then I was struck.
His farewell rang truly round the church, sudden and piercing like a strike of a bell
And the distractions of an imperfect reality were forgotten with the involuntary, grieving heaving of my chest
My eyes were open but all I could see was the most earnest of emotion,
All I could feel was the heady motion of grief
And, although brief, I found myself purely escaping to a dark place
Embracing the honest, refreshing blackness like a new friend