It’s hard to come into life
and it’s hard to leave it.
I wore the most uncomfortable shoes
to your funeral. The priest said
we all struggle, we all do things
and we don’t know why,
we can die not knowing why
and that is quite in the scheme.
I didn’t really know
why I’d worn these bloody shoes
if only maybe to divert pain
to the poor points I had to stand on.
Afterwards there was a great storm
over the cemetery
where we’d been wandering
in mild derangement.
I took off my offending heels
and ran to find
your mother buried
with her mother and her father.
My feet hurt then
in a new way
but I felt it sharply from the ground up
in everything that dropped down
from the trees onto the dead.
It was a good natural gritty pain
and it made me stand up bare and tall
in front of all those names.