Saturday, 24 March 2012

The Queen Mother Dies

The Queen Mother Dies

'The Queen Mother died peacefully in her sleep'
And on trawls the line
Of nasal voices from another century
‘One parasite fewer’ says Davey from the grave

Yesterday I buried a sheep
A grand old white-haired lady
Who for days I expected to find dead
Lying in the doorway of the shed
Scooring from her rear
The noise of my feet
The merest flicker from her ear
That death rattle chest and wheeze
It’s all the same

The time they left me sitting
With the Herdman wife in the home
No family, just carers, cleaners even
Took their turn
Beside her cot in
A triple bedroom shared
She rose and groaned from the pillow
Just hoping she would not die
While I was there

The toothless yow I carried from the shed
An old companion
So many winters on the hill
Her blue eyes still
And head flopped down my back

The gases fizzed
As I pressed hard
The securing final
Clods of turf on top

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