“Eight Crayons in a Box” dVerse Open Link #63/Margo Roby’s “It’s the Truth”

The wake
A small, suffocating room, tremulous
hands held together by salt-driven tears,
lukewarm, transient voices swimming
past me, the smell of violets line
your stomach; I leave a kiss on a fireless cheek.

The burial
An open bible in the priest’s gnarled hands;
farewell prayers, pine trees, unrelenting
earth, winter sky, terrain crescendo on a
casket taken down low, an unorchestrated
sound on living bones.

The aftermath
A feast with nothing more than a bit of
optimism, but it comforts; reminiscent
thoughts and sorrows poured in plastic
cups, bagpipe music moves along the
skin, rising in the chest. Many nights I have
dreamt about those rooms, and the
secrets they revealed.


27 responses to ““Eight Crayons in a Box” dVerse Open Link #63/Margo Roby’s “It’s the Truth”

  1. whew…have been in many a room with the dead sadly….the first i remember was my grandfather…he was a fireman and they paid him such honor the memory moves me everytime i think on it…

  2. Funerals are for those left behind. But I still don’t want one , they’re just an occasion for embarrassed insincerity

    • Viv, even when I was very young I could read the people by their body language, eyes, etc… There seemed to be a lot of “embarrassed insincerity” at my father’s funeral especially.

  3. It made a lasting impression… I think that’s a little young for attending a funeral, just b/c of this.

  4. I also tend to think 5 is too young to attend a funeral. The tea and sympathy afterwards isn’t so bad for kids, especially if there are a few other kids there too.

  5. Sad and so hard for a small child to withness.

  6. And as one gets older the words are re-remembered and details added; one day the puzzles make sense and are scarier than death. Well written piece, piercing and poignant.

  7. It’s just one episode of a drama but we cannot read the kid’s mind! I It might just linger on though! Sad but nice verse, Pam!


  8. I recently buried my mother so this is quite poignant for me. My mom had so many people who loved her and I was surprised by what a comfort they were during the wake to this daughter who moved away from that small town 32 years ago.
    Beautiful work, Pamela.

  9. Charlotte, I am so sorry to hear about your losing your mom, I know how difficult that is. Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

  10. the first funeral i attended was my grandma and i was quite small as well and remember how i more felt than actually saw what was happening

  11. I love the way you tie this all together, Pamela. I really like all the ways you describe your surroundings and it really is just like that.

  12. This has become my favourite of your poems, although the descansos one is close. I love the way you use several of the words in original ways. This is one of those poems, that when I went to pull out a couple of my favourite phrases, I had so many I would be copying and pasting the whole. I love this.

    • Thanks Margo, that means so much coming from you, but refresh my memory, what is “descansos”? Did I title a poem with the name “descansos”? Good grief, I must be losing it … 🙂

  13. Very well done – you handle all of this so deftly but sensitively – capturing the timeless and sober, and the very temporary (almost tawdry) aspect of funerals – people doing as best as they can. k.

  14. homely beautiful sentiments.

    loved my own grandparents.

  15. I am laughing at you! I have a page of notes on descansos because of the poem you wrote. Somewhere I have the poem. Of course, I can’t find it now. I can’t swear to it but I think that is the title. You should be able to do a search using the word, anyway.

  16. Margo, I think you mean “The Lure of Beauty”? Not sure why, I think it is that one.

I appreciate all comments.

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