I cross the road to pay my respects
And get too close. Two coffins
Of pale wood with glass lids – half off
And bodies – half out. Jaunty almost!
A woman with wavy hair – smile fixed
And her husband, behind – similarly…
The lady undertaker, embarrassed –
Explains half whispering: “open coffins.”
Others, like me,
Are distressed. It is such
Bad taste. We don’t want to see.
Later, the dead couple knock
At the door of the blonde wood flat
To be admitted to the funeral tea.
They are dead and still
They stare fixedly.
We relive the first moments of discomfort
We don’t want them so near
Someone talks matter of factly
About their hands rotting
It’s all right, of course,
They can’t hear.