The Burial of the Dead

When churches fall completely out of use

What we shall turn them into

-Philip Larkin, “Church Going”, 1954

 

 

I woke up this morning thinking

T.S. Eliot had no clue

but (truth be told)

he must have known a thing or two.

 

Larkin, he must have done so too.

 

As we turned the corner

we were confronted

by more rows of coffins”

 

Everyone dies alone

new rules regarding the handling of the dead

 

April Fool, like every year

The Waste Land comes to mind

(I can connect
Nothing with nothing.
The broken fingernails of dirty hands.)

had there been a month

as cruel as this,  just about to start?

 

“For those who die at home,

the bureaucratic process is lengthier

as deaths need to be certified by two doctors.”

 

Cities like unused film sets

videographed by drones

What is that sound high in the air

Murmur of maternal lamentation

each in his prison

Thinking of the key

 

I read everything there is

I keep count of every dead,

every body who’s recovered,

every voice who’s lived to tell the tale.

 

I step inside, quoth the poet-

letting the door thud shut.