I think of him as Mr Death
Tall, with whiskey on his breath
Patiently smoking outside his shop
Waiting to hear another one’s dropped
Three piece suit and greased back hair
Manly chin, strong and square
Every morning cleanly shaved
Ready to go should you need a grave
People get old people get ill
And things must be sorted – the coffin, the will
The lately bereaved will always need
Expert advice on how to proceed
It’s a sombre job and someone must do it
And he seems to be well suited to it
(You mightn’t want one too light-hearted
Dealing with your dear departed)
All he has to do is wait
Forty years and no complaints
(With his mighty hands and gangster stare
I doubt if anyone would dare)
“A bespoke caring service, all faiths or none”
Customers will always come
(There’s decent money to be made
In his canny choice of trade)
Does he get sad around all that grief?
Daily reminded how life is so brief?
Is his poise only an act?
Or beneath it are there sometimes cracks?
Would he chat with me a while?
Or would business suffer if he smiled?
Was that a twinkle in his eye?
Or just an inkling that someone’s died?