#2,530 I have never hefted a coffin

I have never hefted a coffin
to my shoulders – no lifting
of a polished-off life from a
elbow-buffed hearse & up –
I’ve attended four funerals –
I met my father’s cold body
in a stilly funeral parlour [a
grotesque remnant of love
& graft] – I knew his sounds
better than his embrace – a
man who struggled to grip
[except a gun’s trigger] – as
his coffin was shifted out &
into a furnace they played
a tune – Sailing By – He was
at ease with military bands
& less with popular songs –
Coppers directed traffic as
colleagues spoke in groups
& my family hardly uttered