Funeral --- a Poem


By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)
August 28, 2004

On their way out
they shook my hand
grabbing fingers, clammy
and old, but strong
like a cold hammer
I could only stammer
a few words of gratitude
for their presence here
tonight at my father's funeral
in a night enveloped by briny past
and rigid fortitude

I stood in that long lonely corridor
while the visitors gathered
and waited in a room of prayer
old and young with grief and fear

My hands now rested
on a thick wooden box where my father
lied in sleep, peaceful,
wrapped in clothe of pure white
after a warm morning shower, sacred
washed his remnant of tremor
now peace had arrived
daisy cutting morphine hopeless!
now peace had arrived
in absentia, at last

I swallowed soured spits,
forgotten pain, and angst in one gulp
before others came forward, aghast
concealed in condoled smile
for another round of pleasantries,
shaking of hands with attitude!