Roxanne Hoffman ~ In Loving Memory


We came to lay our friend to rest,
Suitably garbed in somber dress—
Black cloak, top hat, starched shirt, cravat,
In fitted waistcoat, kid gloves and spats.
Our ladies wore their mourning frocks,
Stern faces bare with pinned-back locks.
Into the church the Vicar lead his troupe.
Through the tiny door we curtseyed and stooped.

Side-by-side in long whitewashed pews we sat.
Took up the well-worn hymnbooks from their slats.
We came to pay our last respects,
To remember him well and reflect,
Not dwell upon his meaner traits,
Ease him through the Lord’s lofty gates.
But without his voice our hearts fell flat,
So we said “Amen” and that was that.

Raising his casket high above our heads,
We stiffly marched as muffled drumbeats led.
Gently, we lowered him into his grave,
Sent him off with tear-filled eyes in slow waves.
We showered sprigs–n-sprays, fistfuls of dust,
Over his grieving wife and kin we fussed.
We gathered ‘round them on every side,
Wishing them well, so sorry he died.

With only our own heavy hearts to bear,
We headed home, heads bowed in prayer.
Such fine a gentleman is rare these days,
A frugal fellow well set in his ways.
Among the angels he must lament,
Regarding the great sums his wife has spent
On funeral, casket and marble stone.
At least with his money she won’t be alone.

In three months time for all to see,
She laid his stone in loving memory—
Jet-black marble inscribed with his name.
Three days later the white cards came,
Announcing to all she had agreed
To become the Missus to William Reed.
After all, a woman’s place is by a man.
Since the Lord made Eve that’s been the plan.

We came to wish our friend the best,
Suitably clad in festive dress.
Gentlemen dressed in top hat and tails,
The bride wore a white silk gown and veil,
Our ladies wore their gayest frocks,
Sweet faces framed with ribboned locks.
Into the church the Vicar led his troupe.
Through the tiny door we curtseyed and stooped.

In whitewashed pews we took our seats,
Waiting for the Bride and Groom to meet.
As we strained our necks for better view,
They took their turns to say “I Do”.
Once they sealed their vows with a kiss,
Since we did not want to be remiss,
We tossed rice upon the Bride and Groom
Then laid her bouquet at our old friend’s tomb.

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