Here is my new poem, I Wear White to Funerals.
I like funerals
more than weddings.
There should be more funerals
and less weddings.
Weddings are for fake tans and
white dresses that mustn’t get dirty,
but no one tans for a funeral,
and the dirt gets lost in the black.
Children run around after funerals.
They scream and laugh.
“Let them play,” says the great aunt.
“Children grieve differently to adults.”
We should all be like children,
and run around like hooligans.
They run their grief away.
Little bodies can only hold so much grief.
A woman, you barely know,
remembers your birthdate.
You don’t know her, but she has
never forgotten the day you came.
An old man asks if
you know his name.
He says he dated your
mother, many moons ago.
He wants you to remember him.
Funerals are for
remembering some things
and forgetting others.
Funerals are for black clothes,
but I don’t wear black to
funerals because you might
soak in the death.
Dancers should wear black,
but only when they practise,
because they have to soak in
everything in the studio.
When they perform, they share,
not soak, so they wear every colour –
the red of radiance, the green of growth,
the blue of balance, the yellow of youth.
I don’t wear black to funerals.
I wear white because white reflects
everything and holds onto nothing.
Not even oneself.
White is for yogis and nuns,
and Tibetan mountains where
mystics have always lived.
I wear white to funerals.