The celebrant said you were unique
in your uniqueness, stumbling blithely
through the minefield of our grief
and I wanted to punch him,
till your voice in my ear said ‘yahdeeyahdeeyahdee,’
as he coasted over the readings
like a local dj covers traffic jams and roadworks.
I cannot describe you,
but I can say that the room was full
of weirdos and outsiders, anarchists,
smokers, drinkers, dreamers,
builders of bonfires, sailors of seas,
scientists, cyclists, hippies,
We filed out to Alpha Blondy singing
Wish You Were Here – they should have shut the doors,
cranked up the dub,
got out the smokes
and left us for the night
to do you justice.
I came to celebrate your life.
Your willow coffin cut me in two
and in the sunlight after
I thought I saw you cycle up.
Leaving the bar for air
I looked out over the river
at the clunky swans thudding over water,
till suddenly airborne and glorious
and your voice said, ‘See, Ange, everything goes on’.
Angela Louise Chicken, 2013