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They gather again dressed in Sunday best

for Wednesday’s child. But no one seems to mind

on this bright day, hushed away. The vicar’s

familiar refrain chimes around the gravestones:

a measured response to events far afield.

In the distance, there’s shimmering betwixt


an' wean the guardian yews: reticence from when

saplings stood. A clutch that had long ago

let go down a path that had trailed off

to no rippling applause. Just warm drifts

of steam that evaporated away

that grey day when you decided to leave.


Now, you lie chilled. And strangers come, instead,

to pay their last respects, with bowed heads

and broad shoulders. They listen for the silence

between angry words and soothing sounds.

And they hear the magic of rhythm,

after your cheyne-choking breathing has stilled.



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