251 – The Day We Burned Grandad

Poem number 251
.
The Day We Burned Grandad
.
He burned in all his glory
On a Thursday, late in May
Not quite a viking send off
But impressive, in its way
.
A hundred people gathered
Men were men and women cried
Hands in laps and eyes on shoes
The birds still sung outside
.
We played some frank sinatra
And some jazz (his secret vice)
The vicar didn’t know him
But the things he said were nice
.
His sister spoke of childhood times
Of japes and scrapes and tears
The memories sharp and vivid
Through her own advancing years
.
Then we launched him, like that viking
To the sombre curtained sea
And we burnt him good and proper
Hankies twisted on our knees
.
And afterwards we gathered
In his garden, in the sun
With loosened ties and cups of tea
And sandwiches and buns
.
There was talk of golf and cricket
And the roadworks, and the news
Occasionally we spoke of him
And second guessed his views
.
Then eventually, as time moved on
The crowd thinned out once more
‘Til at last we waved the stragglers off
And gladly shut the door.
.
Just the four of us, alone again
The debris in the bin
A sherry and a cognac
One more toast to absent kin
.
It was done, this day of burning
And tomorrow we’d move on
Gradually adjusting
To the thought that he had gone
.
But for now an early night, relief
We’d made it through the day
And he’d burned in all his glory
On that Thursday, late in May.

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