We are the women in the graveyard

We are the women in the graveyard
bringing embalming things—spices and oils
or brushes and secateurs
to tidy the graves of others, while we wait,
plastic bags to take away dead flowers
our new bouquets
waiting

Patient for the grief to have its day, become familiar
the unexpected tugs of might-have-been
delightful memories mixed with the mundane
Binding our hopes together in the shroud that wraps our loss.

Waiting for life—as we know it does—to go on
we listen to his mother reminisce:
he was a lovely child
so hungry always, though—for stories, fairness:
so passionate for one so young!

We hear and tell our versions of a life:
darling child
enthralling friend
bastard heir to a lost kingdom

We are the women in the graveyard
waiting for resurrection
Meanwhile, love and duty get us through
so we pull at weeds and ask,
do you remember?

and we’ll be on the beach
at Galilee
cooking breakfast.


See also “We are the men in the upper room”