commital

White autumn mist hangs gently
in the valley as I walk
down the steep hill
a philip’s screwdriver
in my inside pocket
for if the casket has to be opened.
I wish to recall every detail.

Carry Nana’s ashes in a pine casket,
secured by six philip screws
with four thin white strings attached,
held on by six gold pins
and this in a brown cardboard box
that has her name printed in black felt tip
on one of its leaves,

and this in a strong red paper
carrier with two gold rope like handles,
and I am surprised how heavy
it is in my hands and have to bend
my knees to pick it up. It squeaks
like new shoes when I walk.

Careful not to lose
the certificate of cremation,
I stand at the bus stop
opposite the half completed

new estate of houses built
on land I knew last year
as a cornfield where discarded
energy cans and crisp bags
lined the edge.

I walk up the hill
to the church to meet the vicar
dressed in white with gold detailing.
He asks ” Do you want the casket
to be lowered in the grave
by the verger or yourself?”
I give my answer.

I lay the casket on the Lord’s table
as requested, the vicar speaks
of the resurrection and the life,
quotes revelation about the lamp
and the world without night.

I follow him and verger
down the hill of graves
past bushes full of bright red berries,
brown mushrooms flourishing
on rotten soaked wood,

kneel on the green rubber kneeler,
beside the prepared hole
under an oak tree in leaf fall
and lower the casket down
with the white string,

the gold of her nameplate
on top of the casket contrasts
with the dark clayey soil.
We say the Lord’s prayer.

Verger leaves the earth
on the grave slightly raised
so it may settle, agrees
to green bin my cardboard box

and paper carrier. I shake
his hand and say “Thankyou.”
Walk down the hill to the bus.
No screwdriver was needed.

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