“At Jeremy’s Wake” by John Grey
At Jeremy’s Wake
There’s weeping all around.
Hearts are heavy as skyscraper cornerstones.
No “got what he deserved.”
Everyone’s lined up
as sorrow demands.
And there’s not one among them
prepared to criticize your lifestyle.
It’s not that they’ve come to an understanding.
But there was something about you
lying in the coffin,
in that good blue suit,
with your hands folded on your chest.
You could have been any young man at that age.
For didn’t you learn how to crawl and walk
like other babies did.
And attend school all the way through college.
The attendees know other men like that.
Some even have families of their own already.
Not one mention of the disappointment
of your parents,
the shunning of former friends,
the crowd you hung with,
and that thing someone once saw you
do in public.
Not only did you die.
But disapproval did also.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Schuylkill Valley Journal, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Columbia Review and Spoon River Poetry Review.