It is the small incongruities that first make you wonder. You compose the obituary, willing to fall in line the names, dates and signposts of life past, was born/accepted Christ/attended/graduated from married/bore/worked/retired/ lengthy illnesss/died peacfully/ is survived by/ and a host of other relatives and friends. A fluid discourse, A well-written play Beginning, middle and end Cleanly orchestrated such that the mourners who inhabit the pews sparsely or in legion, Might imagine they hear music as they read, A pedestrian soundtrack to a life whose parts add up to an ordered whole. But there is no justice in this sterile accounting No homage to first loves and heartaches, No nod to the nights you peeked round the living room corner and saw her sitting in the 3 AM dark, holding a head heavy with memories of which she never speaks. The words on the bi-folded page render her in flat effect, Lines of type will not cup the contradictions that danced behind her eyes and hid themselves beneath the curl of her fleeting smile. A funeral is not the place for complexity We need the solace of simplicity while we wear the awkward garments of grief. And yet as the months pass, It is the mystery in her life that will come to you again and again Unbidden but relentless As you wrestle with the rough edges that gave her substance And grow to love her spirit in ways and for reasons Denied to you when she was flesh.