Thursday, May 26, 2011

Marvie's Day

when we buried Marvie it was hot

jacaranda dripped from the sky

the sunlight spoke of ghosts and horses

and drying fields and flowers

heavy black flies sheltered from the blowing air

while we waited

the ladies wearing bridge clothes exchanging golf scores and sanitised family history

the men hearty with sweating hands and akubras: smart casual, no black

what are you driving and what’s your handicap?

golf, but something else too

like a currawong striding across the lawn having spotted a small lizard

the hired minister flapped towards us

and out-of-work waiters nudged us into the marquee like cattle dogs

three men carried her but one could have tucked her under his arm

laid the little coffin on the luggage straps

chrome gleamed like a speedboat at a show

the preacher told us three times he hadn’t know Marvie

slipped and called her Gladys twice, distracted by the death certificate

he exhorted us to cry

I watched the wind lift the flowers and ribbons on her lid and shiver them

and as he spoke his homily the wind rocked the coffin on its bindings

rocked the coffin like a cradle

there was no earth for miles    a shopping centre cemetery

only green lawn    velvet astroturf

the sky escaping

and Marvie rocking in her box



susan t. landry said...

your language here is so collected, cool...skimming over the landscape. the tawdriness of modern ritual having little relation to the unbearable passing.

i just read a few of your past bloggings that i missed--i've been away. your voice, observations are very special.
all best wishes,

lucychili said...

achy sad

Vespersparrow said...

Very moving, Isabel. The steady flat line of the poet's voice describing the reality and all the feeling so deeply buried in the white spaces.

Martin H. said...

Stunning imagery, here. I've read it through twice, and love it.

booguloo said...

Left me wondering about a multitude of things. Great write, but sad.

Mary said...

Truly such a sad poem, Isabel. Preacher calling her the wrong name, hadn't known her. And then the people who were chatting about their golf scores. I am sad for Marvie and those who loved her.

Susannah said...

This is wonderful, I love the imagery. So evocative it has the feeling of a film. Really nicely done.

Jessica Prescott said...

the narrator seems apathetic, but only because he chooses not to be upset, not yet

Jingle Poetry said...

the emotion is real.
well done.

What a thrill to land on your amazing poetry land.
Come sharing your poetry with us today,
First time participants are welcome sharing 1 to 3 random poems or poems unrelated to our theme.

Hope to see you linked in.
Happy Tuesday!