A Cold Day In January
Last year my mother died.
by Pete Crowther
I was not there; she died alone.
It was mid-winter when
we buried her. The roads were treacherous
that day, the coldest of the year.
Few people made it to the funeral,
the church was nearly empty.
My son and daughter each
read out a poem
she had written in her younger days.
The priest, who had not known her,
said the prayers. From there we went
by car, the tyres crunching on the ice,
to where the grave had been prepared
in the cemetery that waited
on the outskirts of the town.
The ground was frozen hard.
We stood and listened to the prayers
the priest intoned, tall and upright
there above the open grave while
all the time the icy wind blew
flurries of snow over the graves
and by the groves of evergreens,
So cold, so bleak, so utterly unforgettable
the scene, but what was strange:
I did not mind the cold,
that seeped into my heart and bones.
It seemed somehow appropriate.