A cortège of daughters

Charles Cowling

A cortege of daughters 

A quite ordinary funeral: the corpse 
Unknown to the priest.  The twenty-third psalm. 
The readings by serious businessmen 
One who nearly tripped on the unaccustomed pew. 
The kneelers and the sitters like sheep and goats. 

But by some prior determination a row 
Of daughters and daughters-in-law rose 
To act as pall-bearers instead of men. 
All of even height and beautiful. 
One wore in her hair a black and white striped bow. 

And in the midst of their queenliness 
One in dark flowered silk, the corpse 
Had become a man before they reached the porch 
So loved he had his own dark barge 
Which their slow moving steps rowed 
As a dark lake is sometimes surrounded by irises. 

(Elizabeth Smither) 


Thank you, Sweetpea,  for recommending this wonderful poem.

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Belinda Forbes

And when this happens, it’s a truly remarkable and moving sight.