‘Laughing at Funerals’ and other poems by Helen Burke

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Laughing at Funerals.

Mam said you always should.
laugh at funerals,
that it was expected,
well at least by the Bootle lot.
Them being made of sterner stuff and all.
And anyways death is only a flesh wound ain’t it?
Its life that kills you, does the damage,
kicks you in the guts and ups the anti.
So, why not laugh?
In fact, life falls into two camps, she said –
Those who understand laughing at funerals, and those who don’t.
So, choose your fellow mourners carefully.
Sometimes, hearing the dead described – I cannot say I knew
them at all. They are superheroes, saints, but their
amazing save the world deeds, I do not always recall.
I must have been in a telephone box myself, at the time
– donning my save the world tights, and skin tight morals.
That will be it.
I look in the mirror and…

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