THE COLLECTION OF ASHES.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

ON COLLECTING MY SON'S ASHES

We drove
to the funeral directors,
Nat, Gabs and I,
to pick up
Ole's ashes.

We walked from the car
to the building
across a forecourt
in silence,
it seeming surreal,
yet all too real
as we approached together.

A woman met us
at the door,
a well fed,
plump one.

Can I help you?

We've come
for the ashes
of my son,
I said.

His name?

I told her.

She showed us
into a room
and we sat in silence.

The small room was built
for solemnity: sad music
was piped from speakers
on the walls and the décor
was dull, yet fit
for the sad occasion.

We waited,
looking at each other,
looking away.

Part of me expected,
unreal, yet
somehow real,
for Ole to walk in
in his black coat
and hungry bear gait
and say:
Fooled you all
that time.

But he didn’t
of course,
just the music
and an air
of heaviness
and deep sadness.

The woman returned
with a small oak casket
with Ole's name on
the brass plaque on top.

She handed it to Nat
and gave me a form
that had to be filled in
before Ole's remains
could be interred or
the ashes scattered;
another piece
of officialdom in death,
as if nothing else mattered.

We said our thank yous
and gazed at the woman.

She had a look
of sadness,
a solemnity,
but she had no tear
I could see, but why
should she, I thought,
she didn’t know young Ole.


Submitted: December 03, 2014

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Comments

Bert Broomberg

Very moving again.

Wed, December 3rd, 2014 10:42pm

Author
Reply

Thank you, Bert

Thu, December 4th, 2014 12:30am

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