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Jonathan Mackenzie
Valediction


A brass band descend
on desolate dunes
and strike a tune.
 
Shipshape
former shipmates follow,
singing songs
 
as ladies
dressed in black
stand silently
on the sand.
 
The music stops
and all is still,
save for the shifting surf
and the plaintive vibrations
of a grieving child.
 
A preacher prays,
his vestments swaying
in the abrasive
bronchial breeze.
 
He wades in the water,
dispersing the contents
of a casket
into the brine.
 
The brass band strike a chord
and amidst a raft of rose petals,
a wreath
floats out to sea.
 
   

 

 

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