The body in the Parlour

I remember the time when aunty Phyl died
with an abstract terror that can't be denied.
For I was commissioned to stay at home
along with the body laying in the front room.

Aunty Lil said, If any should call,
be sure to lead them through the hall,
into the parlour were the body lay
lying in state till internment day.

I was far too scared to stay indoors
so I sat on the step for hours and hours.
Until a man came, who I duly let in.
I gave him some tea and the biscuit tin.
I then enquired
was he ready to see, aunty Phyl's body
now he'd finished his tea.

His face was aghast with a look of abhorrence
He'd only called in to collect the insurance

By Linda Carlson