All Prepared, Not Prepared by Rob Walton

This poem is very real and raw. It breaks down the barriers of how frightening it can be to actually talk about illness and the inevitable deaths that may come – but talk we must. It runs breathlessly, without punctuation which helps convey the panic and terror hidden behind the ‘gallows humour’. Imagine selecting your own funeral suit. That thought is so utterly sad. -Jane Burn, guest editor.

all prepared not prepared

on this Saturday afternoon there’s me and M and B and A
and we’re talking about these last few weeks and months
when everyone has died or is dying and M and B and A
have come up from H to WB before some more inevitable
deaths and I suggest M keeps a funeral suit at my house
and we have this laugh and maybe I could keep a funeral
suit at his house or maybe we could do some sort of funeral
clothing share and it might be a British thing or a S thing
or a H thing and it’s so not callous and maybe it’s gallows
humour or guillotine humour or bloody fucking cancer humour
but whatever it is at least some of those dead ones
would have joined in with the laughter and it works for at least
that afternoon although it doesn’t work quite so well
the next day when M and B and A are on their way and I’m sitting
there on my own all prepared in my funeral suit all prepared

Rob wall photo - JPEG


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