A Funeral in Zarra

Seven hard-faced sisters wearing petticoats
of scree. Their arms are linked around the valley.
The village perches on a bony elbow, cliffs
rising into masonry, windows peering down
onto the sunlit backs of eagles. The ridge-tiles

are weighted down by stones. As I descend, I hear
the echo of a woman’s cry that turns the scene
sharply askew: something is happening. The square
is wedged with cars propped all angles on cobbles
and curbs built high for winter stormwater. A crowd

in mourning clothes is half inside a faded
umber house; I hurry through, an intruder
with a luminous rucksack, moving in my secret bubble
of Patrick Leigh Fermor fantasia. A man in formal
grey lets smoke-rings drift across a polished

bonnet and catches my eye with half a smile.
Later, up towards the green horizon, I see
a ragged crow, guarding seven roses that lie bunched
before the wayside chapel of some dusty village saint.
The blackbirds seem to be celebrating something.

About the author

Joe Evans has been a stained glass artist, a company director, a gardener and a musician. His poetry has been published in Lighthouse and…

Read the full bio

Issue 19 · December 2013

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