Guest poem submitted by Steve Axbey: The last poem I submitted (1) was an old favourite of mine, this one I read only this morning but was very taken with...
(Poem #461) Couplets
Two girls found dead. My sons go to the morgue. Two cots, thick rubber gloves, two body bags. Too long stuffed in a culvert, raped and stabbed, too decomposed to recognise. Too sad. Two local ne'er-do-wells no doubt abused too much as children themselves, stand mute. Two caskets in a room, two families undone. Two ministers. Two homilies. My sons too busy with flowers and townspeople to contemplate the problem of evil, to shake their fists at God, regard instead two funerals - the living and the dead to be transported in their separate griefs - two hearses to be washed, two limousines. Today the wakes and paperwork details. Tomorrow a burning and a burial. Two girls found dead of known brutalities together forever, precious memories too sweet, too savage, too beautiful and bad to keep at bay by ritual or words. Two boys about their father's business learn to number, comfort, witness and keep track.
From 'Still Life in Milford' (Cape Poetry, £8). Why do I like this poem? I found it very moving, and I found it very shocking - even though we are all used to reading about crimes such as these, this is different - why? Because there are two of them, of course. Which is (one of) the point(s) of the poem. It's also a clever poem (I like clever poems). The line-beginnings are great, I think. The last couplet really makes the poem memorable: Lynch is an undertaker, of course, and the resonant phrase (about their father's business) is very powerful, but it's also very abrupt, a new piece of information that brings the earlier couplets into context. The poem was in The Times which quoted it beside a review of Lynch's latest book: An important undertaking BODIES IN MOTION AND AT REST By Thomas Lynch Jonathan Cape, £10 ISBN 0 224 06606 4 Here's a link to the review: [broken link] http://www.the-times.co.uk/news/pages/tim/2000/05/11/timbooboo02015.html but I have to say it's terribly badly written - almost incomprehensible I thought [ the review, I mean, I haven't read the book :-) ] Steve Axbey.  poem #360