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.

One thought on “A cortège of daughters

  1. Charles Cowling
    Belinda Forbes

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

    Charles Cowling

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