Poetry Please – May 24

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This week’s poems are by Gillian Cunningham and Gillian Fisher.

THE FUN IN FUNERAL

Aunt Louise was wearing black
Dulcie’s dress a sedate dove grey,
this was a very solemn affair
on a dull and drizzly day.

It was for Uncle Charlie
a character it has to be said,
he worked hard all of his life
to keep his family clothed and fed.

The sandwiches were made
there was sherry, coffee and tea,
music too, in keeping
all that a wake should be.

But something strange was happening
with smiles and laughter loud,
an air of fun and happiness
among this exuberant crowd.

What was going on?
It soon became quite clear,
Uncle Charlie was having a rehearsal
not dead, very lively and still here.

GILLIAN CUNNINGHAM

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DISTINGUISH THEM BY SONG

Small, olive-brown birds fly with chiff-chaffs,
departing from Africa to us.
Their differences are hard to tell;
a novice birdwatcher makes a gaffe –
they’re not all alike – and a plus
is awarded to him, in the dell.
He hears soft runs of notes descending.
They’re willow warblers’ whereas chiff-chaffs’
recital is mere repetition
of those birds’ own name comprehending
as much as the cuckoo’s. Not of the riff-raff
is the willow warbler, on his summer mission.

GILLIAN FISHER