Far heavier than I expected
and the size of an old sweet jar,
opaque plastic, black lidded.
Thank heaven it wasn’t transparent.
I could not have gone on like that.
I carried my father’s ashes
through the streets,
past the church and the chapel,
past the pizza parlour and meaty kebab shops,
under summer trees and fuming traffic,
everything poignantly normal.
We didn’t walk often together.
My father preferred his home.
I was sweating from heat and emotion.
Such a hot afternoon it was.