Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Afterlife by Christopher Reid

Afterlife
 
As if she couldn't bear not to be busy and useful
after her death, she willed her body to medical science.
 
Today, as a number of times before, I walked
past the institution that took her gift, and thought,
 
'That's where my dead wife lives. I hope they're treating her kindly.'
 
The dark brick, the depthless windows, gave nothing away,
but the place seemed preferable to either Heaven or Hell,
 
whose multitudes meekly receive whatever the design teams
and PR whizzes of religion have conjured up for them.
 
My wife is in there, somewhere, doing practical work:
her organs and tissues are educating young doctors
 
or helping researchers outwit the disease that outwitted her.
So it's a hallowed patch of London for me now.
 
But it's not a graveyard, to dawdle and remember and mope in,
and I had work to do, too, in a different part of town. 

 

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