The Circus – a poem

The Circus

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,
feminists, co-operators,
builders of bonfires, sailors of seas,
stargazers, shelterers,
scientists, cyclists, hippies,
freaks, historians,

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