We filed through in ones and twos
To see the body.
There he lay in a red oak coffin,
Covered in ethereal white;
A bed for eternal slumber -
But not a comfortable one, I thought.
It was fitting, they said.
It was his favourite wood.
A desk, a chair, skirting boards, a bed frame;
Each he had carpentered,
The cool oak held in his Pat Jennings hands.
Now it held him.
I remember those hands -
After all, they had once held me -
And that handsome handshake that lingered just a little bit longer,
Like there was something to be said by it.
Now we file down the road,
The weight upon
Still heavy. Regretful,
I hold him upon my boney frame.
Unmindful of the rain,
Or the neighbours who mourn from a distance.
© 2012 Stephen J. Elliott