Tom C Dylan

An Irish Family Funeral

On the day of the funeral rain the fell from gloomy skies

cousins and family friends we hadn\'t seen for years

made their way over, descending on our town,

some arriving by ferry, others catching early-morning flights.


After the church, our eyes still red with sadness,

we headed to the pub where the wake would be held.

We spoke of our loss and what she had meant to each of us.

Sharing our memories both funny and sad.


Raising a glass of whiskey, a drop of the pure

Somebody pulled out their phone, let\'s get a photo.

We all joined in the scrum, hugging, arms linked, 

sad smiles for the camera. Click. Click. Click.


The Irish music started playing, the whiskey flowed still,

we sang The Auld Triangle at the tops of our voices,

and told stories of the past, tall tales and family legend.

We spoke of here and now, our lives, family, work.


The whiskey kept streaming, my voice becoming slurred,

speaking to a relation about books, art and film.

Then it was time to leave, saying good-bye, keep in touch.

The exchange of phone numbers and updated addresses.


The next day my head hurt and the bedroom waltzed around me.

Snap-shorts of the day poured back in double-measures.

My singing, the bad jokes I told where nobody laughed,

Breaking my heart in the church, then drunk at the wake.


I called my mother, letting her know I\'d survived.

Asking if I had disgraced myself with the Irish relatives.

She replied saying that the family had already been in touch,

and that my name had been mentioned in despatches


From getting emotional at the service, to slurring, singing drunk,

talking broken biscuits, of how writing was my art.

How had that gone down? What had they made of all that?

They say, she replied, that you have a good heart.