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April 2017, vol 13 no 1

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Daniel Paul Marshall

Nan’s Funeral


we say all sorts of things when loved ones die & so – as the hearse wagon pulled up outside my nan’s house where grandad was born & they raised 3 kids, the reflection of the fluid street in the double glazing; her sinuous, boney shell, our nan mom-in-law friend, inhabited, cooped up inside a wooden vessel with just one stop – my aunt broke down & on her sister’s shoulder (my mom) through sobbing so guttural she could hardly breathe said how will we get through today Kaz?

how to piece the world together now the lode stone is crumbled? with our hands or heads? will we see hug talk with her again, is any of this plausible? is she returned but differently composed: organic, able to germinate, animal, an equation only a physicist can read? there’s too much talk

– the vicar talks all sermon about God & afterlife. i spoke with the hearse driver on the way to the crematorium to distract me, i needed to hear life at its most mundane, straight out of its ordinary core, to rinse out all the religion & move in a mood & voice my nan used daily; i took comfort there, i thrive there, i think – i like to believe. death is never mundane, it makes you think a hodgepodge of untested thoughts, makes you say all sorts of things when all i wanted to talk about was, how she let me win at Scrabble when a child, made gravity defying lemon meringue, would make my roast dinner a day early because i liked dried up dinners & somehow discovered a special ratio of butter : banana : bread to make the perfect banana sandwich, unrivalled by anyone, but more importantly, how much nan loved the warm

clouds: torn wet tissue
wintry sun bulbs in windows
red yellow orange
thaws the heart & tongue – but talk
inside & out keeps quiet


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