Sunday, 22 December 2013

Funeral at Christmas

A poem for Sunday for a change. I've known several funerals close to Christmas. The juxtaposition of grief death and celebration of birth, of sorrow and of joy, is something that always seems to have a quality of strangeness, and yet the colours of advent are those of mourning.

Funeral at Christmas
I remember that cold wet day
Sheltering under ancient birch
The sky clouded, dark and gray
At the entrance to the church.
The coffin carried, we followed
And sat within the darkened pew
Death touching all who sorrowed
Mourning today the one we knew
Rain falling outside, wind rising
A time of endings, silent night
Death came now, joy despising
An advent of the dying rite
Chimes ring out, because they must
Funeral at Christmas, dust to dust

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