‘You won’t want to go to the funeral’
my mother told me, and turned away.
I spent the day with neighbours.
I didn’t see the black cars come,
my pink-loving mother in black silk,
straight-backed, silent. I didn’t see
his comrades from two wars,
form a shocked guard of honour.
I went back to school, carrying
a black ball of grief I had not
been shown how to handle.