Party people hangers-on
pressed flowers from his wake;
tables ringed with
sloppy drinking stains.
Prim ladies in aprons
picked through scattered kit–
memorials to times gone.
He was un-young and known to friends
and neighborhood as one
to keep a family afloat
in hard times, and forgot
their rents so often,
milk and bread for the children.
Wearing melancholy like a favorite shirt
tatterdemalion stock analyst
“Never cheated no one young nor old,” he
hopped the fence with Death
at first, “Hello,” hollow smirk.
Laid out on the big table in the front room
for his mother’s sake a black and white ribbon
God rest her belovéd Dave.
Latent Spring crawls toward radiant May
candles scant glow sallow sun in gloom.
Men smoked pipes kept the haints at bay
tobacco scent lingered in the drapes.
“This place needs a good airing out.”
“Not yet and leave the mirrors turned.”
stifled hands the clocks were still nothing to say.
Their sayings and poems done
finished the keening cries
four by four in circuit onward to the church
hefting his coffin home.
Clay and sod a man’s almost last gifts
perhaps a name-sake in June, Davy,
that would be nice.
Some good memories, at Easter-tide
and when time is due for rents.