Yesterday we gathered together in disbelief
held our breath
touched the cool of your waxy perfection
sang and spoke and cried
stroked your graceful clever hands
and your perfect unlined brow

Today we stumble bravely
into the epicentre of shared grief
all our arms and our collective minds
reach out, to hold
a family
and 18 years

A youthful group
stands apart
united in utter bewilderment
a tableau
a few skateboards propped

The word community
never felt so real, or so raw
We stand on grass
among the pines, the oaks and silver birch
watching the shovels of earth
and talking of ashes and of dust

Their turn now to hold your fine bones
and as many field daisies as we can find
go with you on your way

All the colours of the words we wrote
and flowers we painted will swirl
and be absorbed with you
into the lasting roots of plants and trees

Tomorrow, and forever
your lithe brightness
your music
and your smile will shine on in us

Meanwhile your soul’s already lifted
and settles like a star

****

Katie Whitehouse