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The lights were always dim –

When I sprinkled blessed water
(was I doing it right?)
over the face of his dead mother,
on my way to the airport

When I visited my neighbour
and watched
as she flexed the limbs
of her dead baby daughter
to fight the rigor mortis
and I left my gift
of powdered milk and sugar
for the mourners’ tea

When I met my grandmother’s death
in a crowded restaurant
serving without a smile
until my boss decided
I was putting folk off their food
and sent me home

But I wasn’t home
I was never home when death came

So I cried into a public phone box
to hear a voice
that could shrink the miles
because I wanted to be close

Death breaks bonds,
and calls ‘Come, gather –
you need to reweave your web’

I’ve much yet to learn
of death
but I do know its invitation
is mocked by wielding numbers –

Death mourns
when we let its holes become canyons,
watching from the sidelines
the falling