Alphabetical order had ordained
That we assemble
Six to each marble topped table
I saw their love develop
A silent unspoken love
No noisome frolic ;
No public face ;
Only the furtive glance across the
A quiet collusion together
In the dissecting manual..
In the acrid atmosphere.
A friend of both
I watched it grow
From without and within
Poised on the fringe of their covenant.
On all Souls Day the lab attendant
In his carpenters overalls
Limped through the dissecting room
Collecting donations for masses
For the dismembered cadavers
In disembodied shreds
With cheques of piety
From each table
They took the dismantled dead
And buried them in the convant grave
On Nun’s Island with the Poor Clares
The dead had given us
A look at life
We owed them that at least
A mass for their intentions
A prayer for their redemption
The gangly professor had said
A pulpit for the purpose,
At the graveside ,
A winsome tear welled up in her eye,
For the dismembered corpse
We’d never known
Only to dissect down to the very bone
And he was at her side
The Yule of their tide
Of love had come..
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