Juleigh Howard-Hobson
Let Death
"Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come." — Auden

Let death be eventful, dark and dreadful,

Let death be terrible and important.

Let death be an experience of pain
for loved ones who weep again, and again.

Let death take the center stage when it comes:
matte black hearses, floral arrangements, some
wailing, a grave mourners must be dragged from.

Let death never settle for the sterile
attention that modern life gives it: mile
after mile of flat markers. Each a vile
reminder that death no longer has style
when headstones are considered unworthwhile.

Let death touch us, let death feel us, with its
black silky fingers, with its tear-stained mitts,
let its breath surround us like a grey mist
full of rot and wreaths gone bad. Let death twist
us into knots of grief, sobbing in fits,