Burying the Husband

As your hearse
stretches the road
we walk,
trying to be respectful.

My shoulders heave an ease
at their freedom, my bruises
will heal now
there’ll be no fresh hits.

Our feet turn,
our bodies sideways themselves
through the gap in the graveyard wall.
I hate the shaking hands,
the priest who tries to make you out to be
a grand fellow altogether. I want to laugh.
I feign tears, lean over the grave
and spit. Saliva hits the wooden

coffin and the pall bearers
throw first fist-fulls of dirt,
I stretch the black suit,
arch my shoulders over
and back to my new life.



Noel King lives in Tralee, Ireland. His poetry collections are published by Salmon: Prophesying the Past, (2010), The Stern Wave (2013) and Sons (2015). He has edited more than fifty books of work by others (Doghouse Books, 2003-2013) and was poetry editor of Revival Literary Journal (Limerick Writers’ Centre) in 2012/13. A short story collection, The Key Signature & Other Stories was published by Liberties Press  in 2017. www.noelking.ie