After the departure for the wake
of your unspeakable in-laws, sorted
among their disputatious cars,
I hung about a while for a quiet rant
aimed uncertainly towards your dumb
and soil-bespattered coffin. Why,
so lately found, had you so soon betrayed
the both of us by slipping off so soon?
And while I fumed, from a fortuitous pond,
a cob-swan led his pen and scruffy signets
to pasture on the lush green blades
unscabbarded among the gravestones.
I must have spooked the cob for, in a hissing
flurry, he chased his flock back to the water,
leaving a single feather by way of souvenir.
I have it by me now in an old Greek pot,
though it will conjure neither
the mute swan nor you, my truant brother.