Late Spring Mourning, by Ken McKeon

The trees in our neighborhood are
Burgeoning with leaves, this
Follows from the steady rainfall
Of the last several months,

And the long drought seems over,
Relief for the gardens, for us too,
Easy to wake these mornings,
Well rested for the doings of the day.

But today brought an unseasonable heat
That caught up with me only half
Way through my walk, it stopped
And held me right across the street

From the small Catholic Church,
Where a tall priest in a purple robe
Was standing alongside several
Black suited burley men who

Were loading a large and stately
Coffin into the back of a black
Cadillac hearse, the priest’s face set
In a strikingly calm mood of concern,

But the men managed the weight and heft
Of the carved box well, they knew
What they were doing, as did
The priest who now gestured

To the few mourners to leave
The steps of the small church
And to climb on their own
Into the two waiting limousines.

Soon everybody was off to some
Local cemetery, where only one
Of the party would quietly remain,
Suspended in the unforced neutrality

Of being dead, and being really nicely
Clothed and housed for the time being,
And I, rested now, turned back to my
Walk under the hot sun towards home.

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