The Great Death – poem

I stood at the back of the funeral room.
Very still.
Black dress. Black coat.
It’s cold.

Purposely alone.
Ears closed.
Not wanting to hear
the tirade of sweet lies.

Did they not know you were already dead?
I think they did.
They walk with the dignity
of a funeral crowd into the tea room.

I can see them chatting
happily through the window.
“What a fantastic guy he was.
Cheese or meat sandwich?”

I sit outside, next to you.
No one can see. No one bothers to look.
Sinking to fresh earth,
I ask you why you did that to yourself.

Why did you cling to that
which fed you a slow poison?
Why did you betray that
which was guard to your soul?

There is no reply.
The words get taken by the chill wind.
You cry in your sleep.
The tears are gone by morning.

The sadness is not this death.
You are not even dead.
You are just over there.
The sadness is the other death.

The death that doesn’t end.
The one that follows behind,
ever-present with its
grey, hollow touch.

Walk a bit further.
There is a different land not far away.
The people in it have the magic
to break the icy fingers of the great death.

I hear you don’t even have to pay.
You do, however, have to find their door.
And it is only found by those
who pay the other price.

From Strange Words – A Book of Poetry