The eminent poet, Robert Graves, famously claimed that that there's no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting. I tend to agree. This poem is a rewritten version of one that appeared several years ago in A Guernsey Double, co-written with fellow writer, Peter Kenny.
The heart beats now a mourning drum
behind the coffin held aloft.
Head bowed, she steps, back ramrod-straight,
blue light, through stained-glass, falling soft,
from the black car beyond the gate
into the congregation’s hum.
Grief carves a beauty in her face
or highlights what was there before,
unrecognised. She seems to shine,
to have become not less but more,
while others’ faces, at this shrine
to gracefulness, lack any grace.
Light throws long shadows on the wall
as one by one the cars depart.
We gather our composure, rise.
She stands a little way apart,
speaks with the priest, says her goodbyes.
Outside, soft rain begins to fall.