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The Funeral Game by Noel Monahan

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The Funeral Game

Monahan, Noel

That winter we came to terms with death.
Every shoe-box was a coffin
For anything small and dead
And we wrapped them in calicoes, velvets ...

We grabbed hats, coats, umbrellas,
From the hallway to dress as mourners,
Someone struck an iron girder in the hay-shed
To sound the funeral bell,
John Joe beat the dead march on a saucepan.

We held wakes, issued death certificates
To old crows, kittens, chickens ...
Lined the graves with stones,
Erected crosses with ash sticks.

We pretended to cry, struggled with Latin prayers,
Filled the wet graves in the clover field,
Genuflected in the direction of a whin bush,
The rain pelting down,
We left by a side-gap,
Back to the hay-shed for tea, bread, butter ...
For all who travelled long journeys.

Musical accompaniment from Laura, Emmett and Martin Cahill


Copyright Noel Monahan 2004

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