Monday, April 12, 2010

The Rest of Us

Five of Pentacles

Showing Respect

Mourning has a hierarchy
No less than any social construct
And it's just; don't upset them
When they've had enough.
It's often to the same preacher
Who proclaims: This is the time
For you to remember and to share

That falls the delicate duty
Of pulling the prodigal aside,
And in the shelter of a brotherly arm,
Whispering: Don't make this about you, now.
I've seen a few whose doors
In life were thrown open,
In death, rest behind a velvet rope.

The circle of kin can be forgiven
A preference for hired mourners--
Who know the dress, the decorum,
The proper pitch for the wails--
To the peculiar, the peripheral,
The ones they never could understand
Why they always kept showing up.

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