Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Stanley Pelter: service


funeral service

is a contortion

of her harsh life

at last

a loud voice hushed.


Nearly made 102. Nearly 2 weeks dead. She, we believe, lies nearby. To one side. The event inside this last-of-the-day is taking place in one section of a tiny chapel. 7 of the small congregation are Jewish. Some are frum. From Ireland, a grandson, his memorial a soft roll burr of mid-America. Timed to coincide, over there 3 more grandchildren make offerings. No one looks directly at her lily-topped coffin. A grand yet petite finale. Ageing son’s soliloquy, his own poem, balance emotion with sensible detachment. Some of the Jews murmur to a hymn, unclear how to retain their outsider status. Inside a silencing sonata, a curtain surrounds a final secret as it begins to disappear through a narrowing space.


inside the inside

of an acacia leaf

veins bulge

she passes into a realm

of invisibility


We make our way to a village pub. Meet in circular talk. Discuss photos in albums. Look inside picture frames. See into her twenties. Admire elegant poses of thirties. Talk beyond wartime songs: white cliffs of Dover. lily marlene. underneath the arches. we’ll meet again.


in a back room

of b/w photographs

such swirls of limbs

vagrant images

dispel inside memory


by Stanley Pelter

Claypole, Lincolnshire, England

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