The worst of it was that she’d quarrelled with them
And now they were dead, all dead, her parents too,
Nobody left but her awful aunt and uncle,
Their faces collapsed like their future.
Still she stood at the graveside, calm, composed,
Pale-faced, with folded hands, her shoulders back,
She’d been a queen once-in-a-dream,
She might be bereft but she knew how to behave.
If only they’d not quarrelled in these last few years…
They’d called her shallow and she’d called them babes,
They had not wanted to grow up: they never would.
She, more than ever, knew she had no choice.
The service droned, but something — she looked up
Saw cassock, surplice, and a lion’s eyes.

6th April 2004