This funeral won’t be Televised
(unknown badger 26/3/15)
I find vertebrae in the shape of a sine wave,
although this curved spine belonged to a small badger
and was found picked clean under a shrub.
I dig a shallow trench alongside,
not wanting to disturb rhubarb roots.
My voice is not good enough to sing a Psalm.
You’ll be buried where you fell
with no horse-drawn journey from battlefield
to resting place. I ease your bones into their grave,
noticing you were missing a hind leg,
part of a front paw and a lower jaw
and it’s only Leicestershire soil that joins your remains.
There’s no Academy-award nominated actor
to read this poem. Merely a reassurance
your presence was noted and won’t be forgotten.
The Typist on the Thames
(after “The Wasteland III The Fire Sermon” – T.S. Eliot)
The sky turns violet as she retrieves
and folds her laundry. I wanted
something more for her
than a sales clerk full of himself
after the idea of a wife
to bolster his career, support him.
I didn’t want her to settle
into a half-lived life, fearful
of claiming something for herself
or turning into a thirty-something
divorcee with two children,
moaning about a useless ex,
swapping a work suit for PJs
as soon as she was home,
flitting from soap to Facebook to twitter,
waiting for an invite, an interruption
and not getting on with life in the meantime.
A Dance in a White Dress
A silence would be just as intrusive
as a babble about bus routes from three friends
in a waiting room they shouldn’t be in.
I focus on the spearmint-coloured mat
and the calm of the carpeted corridor
that leads to the muted clack of keyboard
after I explain he died where he was born.
That room was a pale green too.
I resisted the proposed move to a white hospice,
that was further away, through road works
that would have robbed us of time.
I didn’t cry, merely held the weight of memories.
It was later, watching the smooth control
and perfect placement of a dance
that stole my breath and brought tears.
An Abandoned Football
A passing cyclist says “thank you.”
as I pick up yet another cigarette butt.
It joins the drinks cans, sweet wrappers,
cellophane, lottery tickets. No treasure here.
Just a desire to tidy, to feel
as if something’s been achieved.
At least until the tide of litter returns.
I leave the football, abandoned
in a ditch but now revealed.
It’s intact but a little deflated.
Emma Lee’s “Ghosts in the Desert” is forthcoming from Indigo Dreams Publishing (2015). Her previous publications are “Mimicking a Snowdrop” (Thynks Publications 2014) and “Yellow Torchlight and the Blues” (Original Plus, 2013).
She blogs at http://emmalee1.wordpress.com and reviews for The Journal, Sabotage and London Grip.