Funeral visit

Each funeral visit
a chance to tread again
on holy ground,
foot printing tender
around desiccated hearts,
sobbed dry;
longing to make a difference
in sad places, ploughed deep by sharp-bladed grief.

Breathtaking privilege
to be allowed such proximity
by vulnerable strangers
utterly disorientated by the:
of death, and the terror it holds
in a culture allergic to ageing.

Barefoot the clergy come,
armed with listening love,
touching the puzzlement and strain
in the name of the crucified,
who identified with all our in pain.

Being there the greatest gift!
Broken words of peace and prayer
wet the dust with
signs of hope and care;
soul-sustenance, for this longest of life’s journeys.