The Second Day

TearsIt is not the day of
farewell
when the despair sets in.
Surrounded by family
and friends
the grief of death and burial
enmeshed with the comfort of companionship
sustains and carries
and finally surrenders to the sleep
that is too weary any more
for tears.

It is the second day,
the lonely wait
the empty dreams and hopes
that have now been removed;
Crushed and broken
we sit in the dust
and wonder where God is
in the separation and isolation,
in the emptiness and desolation.
When your child lies in some field,
some tomb,
buried before his mother,
what strength is there any more
for tears?

Unpack the travelling bags,
the tokens and signs
from troubled nights long ago
when the only cries were an infant
waking
disturbed by the strangers.
Oh what we would give for the company
of others,
the tokens of meaning
and love and purpose;
instead all that is left is a ruined blood-stained robe,
so divided and gambled over
that nothing even remains to mop up any more,
the tears.

Hand the gifts over.
Hand them over to your namesake;
a younger woman can face the new dawn.
Take the gifts that have ended up as false prophecies;
so much for the king, prophet and priest.
All that is left is to anoint one last time,
one ultimate gift that can have any hope of purpose.
Mother, your time has passed,
all the promises now gone
and the last of the signs and wonders removed from your sight.
Give up the perfume
for you have nothing any more
but tears.