A Libation for the Dead

by Brian Kirk

In some parts of the world before the feasting starts,
before the drinks are poured, a libation for the dead
is spilled on arid ground. Some people value those
who came before, but we know better.
Old stories are nothing more than wives’ tales
and when we perish we rot in the ground,
go back to nature in the meanest way.
At funerals the one least present is always
the deceased; we do not see the dead among us,
guiding us, reminding us of who we are
and where we’re from. We eat and drink,
laugh and kiss, lives flavoured by our loss,
all aches and joys endured or relished
in the shadow of a closing door.