This has not been a good summer for anyone, it seems like. Today we lost a family friend (my brother’s godfather), who had been struggling with illness for a long time. It’s unsettling when there just seems to be nothing but death and misfortune in your life and the lives of others that you know, but I suppose we must reach the bottom of things before they can improve, sometimes. Anyway, DVerse asked for a sonnet, so this was on my mind today. I think that really, no one is good at funerals, but some people are just better at faking it than me. A happier one tomorrow, I hope…
I don’t know what to say at funerals;
I have no words of remedy, no cures.
(The ancients wrote them somewhere, to be sure,
in sea-drowned tomes or black incunables.)
I know the minute’s worth in numerals,
how necessary that each hour endures.
I know the things to say to sound mature;
but nothing easy, nothing beautiful.
So silence is the haven where I go:
dealt out with hands, drawn in with memory.
I know my observations: husbands, wives,
this dim grey peace, this timeless undertow.
I know enough to know this treasury,
these things that fill our dreamless afterlives.