Today I picked out your coffin.

Today I picked out your coffin.

Oak, elm, mahogany,

Who knew there was so much choice?

Bamboo, willow, water hyacinth,

So many decisions,

Banana leaf, pine, corn skin,

But it’s just a box

Going in the ground.

And just a body

Where you’re not to be found.

 

In the Philippines

Silvers, blues, pinks,

They hang their coffins

Landscapes, cherry blossoms,

From a cliff

Pets, poppies, even presents,

To prevent beasts taking their loved ones,

And to bless the soul eternally.

Are we blessed eternally?

Taken from me so forcefully.

 

My choice echoes my love

cardboard, woven, echo,

Capsula Mundi, the burial tree.

Plastic and starch,

Planted in the ground

Like a cadaver corm.

In death like birth, foetal.

We never spoke of passing

When we were so full of life,

Too young to think of a final full stop,

Never seeing the goodbye.

 

Burial Tree

Beautiful and lasting

That I will tend, lovingly,

And you will nourish.

Who knew this was a choice?

Choices we never made,

A life that I couldn’t save.

Do you know how much I miss you?

Life without you is my casket.

Today I picked out your coffin,

But who will pick out mine?

Image

Image from capsulamundi.it

 

Poem © Phen Weston

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3 thoughts on “Today I picked out your coffin.

  1. Fantastic in so many ways. I love how you used different cultures and history in this one as well as the different set of choices. This line is over the top wonderful: “Life without you is my casket.” And the question at the end was powerful. This really is an excellent post, and I’m so impressed that you kept it all together with the scope and length.

    • Thank you XD I’m glad you enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure about adding the different choices at first (and honestly had no idea there were so many choices). Not to blow my own trumpet, but I have to agree about the question at the end.

      • Yeah, I really liked this one. I didn’t really know either. I love how many different layers this one had, from emotional to philosophical to cultural and historical.

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