One after another, those of the condolence queue,
wearing whatever passes now for sunday clothes,
snake across the chapel carpet to review
the body. Say how sorry. Look morose.
Those of the right religion stop and kneel.
Some even reach to touch the corpse, who dare
to know how a dead hand might feel,
then cross themselves and murmur a small prayer.
A parish priest arrives to lead the rosary;
the lapsed, the unbelievers, sneak out for a smoke.
Who sent which flowers? We must nose and see.
A distant relative retells his funeral joke.
At ten the undertaker flashes lights.
Everyone leaves. Nobody says goodnight.