“The Mourners” my thirteenth ekphrastic response for National Poetry Month prompted by another painting showing the incisiveness of Marcel Herms.
expect a decent spread
after the service for the dead.
After her casket enters the flames
Her sisters tell tales, turn your head with names.
The sensation of looking at her life
celebrated on plate, fork and knife.
She was a feeder to all she welcomed
more tea than coffee, cream cakes and buns,
Plates piled with ham, pork, new potatoes,
Extended tables out of her small room grew
into her hallway laden with trifles,
Éclairs, gateaux, vienettas, profiteroles,
And yet with age she ate less and less,
lost weight and interest in all else
But meticulously recorded appointments
with doctors, opticians and her common sense
That said they were all wrong and must be dense
unable to diagnose her persistent aches and pains.
She sliced and diced them into manageable portions
The mourners digest her life and its storied motions