Coming Up For Air
by Marius Grose
My mother died quietly
her breath a tide that
washed out and out
so far beyond the ebb
no turn of Earth or pull of Moon
could bring her back.
Left my father, sister and me
dry landed, floundering fish
gasping as we were
shocked breathless into
the rituals of death.
Breaking news to
family and friends
My father let me drive his car at last
‘In case anything happens dear’.
The world was stood on its head.
We came up for air in the pub yard
ladies of the townswomen’s guild had
drowned us in waves of sympathy
each one breathing a secret sigh
‘Not me this time’ then turned their
attention to tea and cakes, funerals
are for the living, the living can
do nothing for the dead.
© 2020 Marius Grose