next time
a poem by  
  keith  o'connor
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My father's wake was the inspiration for this poem. It  explores acceptance of death as the end of life.
. Next time 

open coffin 
wreathed with flowers 
my fathers face 
a strangers mask 
flickering flames 
quiver to his widow's  
friends and relatives 
each in turn 
kneel at the mask 
one last look 
a few prayers 
secret memories 
offer condolences 
to his children 
standing in row 
from first to last 
friends and relatives 
long not seen 
talk of  
past times 
missing times 
forgotten times 
between times 
sign the book 
say good by 
to who will be next 
talk of meeting 
next time 


Keith O'Connor 
July 2001 


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