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Friday, 19 July 2013

A death in the family


We had a funeral today 
With yelling and waling of tears 

There was a death in the family 
Black as mourners' cloth worn  

Money is no more an object 
We have to celebrate this lost life 

We had a funeral today, casket crowned  
Friday always seems the best days  

To defrost the dead and dress them good 
A frozen meat laid in state for wake keeping 

To see if our dearly departed would wake 
From this lumber mood of sleeping dead 

Wouldn't that be a sight to be seen 
The awaking of the frozen dead 

Mourners would cry through the night 
And take breaks to have, catch up chats with friends 

Old lovers would bring their pretend love to bear 
"Oh" they say "I miss him so much" they say 

And have time off on sorrowful linger  
For the refreshments served 

There has been a death in the family 
The elders sit to take stock with tired eyes 

Quarreling over assets to share before 
The dead rot in the ground 

Why don't they just burn the dead to ashes 
Save him the disgrace of un-visited grave stones 

Doubt of the accountant's conflicting figures 
Of what donations were given at the funeral 

There has been a death in the family 
Whose turn is it this time 

To be made a fool of, in dead clothes 
Lying in state as the joker on parade 



10 comments:

  1. "...in dead clothes
    Lying in state as the joker on parade "---I can feel the pulsing rush of grief in those lines.
    Peace.
    May God give you and your family the strength to bear the loss..

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  2. So much goes on beneath the surface of a funeral, It sometimes seems to bring out the 'ugly' in people. The deceased person, if he/she were to awaken, would cry if he/she knew that so much nastiness abounded on the day his/her life should be remembered and honored. I think this poem of yours, Kodjo, is my favorite of all.

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  3. Oh this resonates. I love the refrain. It enhances the read. Adds a rhythm, too, that I appreciate. There has been so much death in my life it is indelibly shaped how I see life.

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  4. You bring up the darker swirl of emotions at play when someone passes away. Yes, some emotions seem truly universal.

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  5. You have tackled some very deep questions about death and life in this poem, Kodjo. I think the repeated line is so effective, and gains gravity as the poem continues.

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  6. interesting the different perspectives on death...from celebration to sorrow...to contemplation...who is next? none of us know our days...

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  7. I agree with Mary wow you have definitely shed light on the ugliness behind funerals. I am lucky in that my family has never fought over the possessions of the dead

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  8. There are a lot of emotional underpinnings in this piece--effective and thought-provoking write

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  9. Kodjo, I am so sorry for your loss, and sorry, too, for how the lines resonate with us - under the surface, so much goes on at a time when someone dies. The line that hit home especially, for me, is the elders, sitting quietly with tired eyes. They have seen it all so many times. You wrote this so well!

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