A Poem of Wishes

When I die
This is what I wish

Please sing to me
Until your voices join
In a slow dance of notes
Moving together across the room
Like just one note
Like just one voice

Sing easy songs
Repeated with few words
So everybody gets the gist
It’s the singing that’s the thing

Sing
Until your throat fills with notes
Until your voice reminds you
That you can still grow
That you can swell & fill spaces you didn’t know existed
That you can be as brave
And full
As your sound is

Play me tunes and songs
Many songs!!
Martin Hayes for where I came from,
& how the old renews
Nessi Gomes for we are
All related
And maybe “Love is in the air”
Or some other frothy fare
That everyone can dance to

Let there be clapping
& much dancing too
If spirit takes you,
Let there be laughter
Bad puns, old jokes
Hokey anecdotes
& story

Read a poem to me
Or maybe three
A Mary Oliver for sure
And maybe David Whyte
The third is dealer’s choice
Let the poems be beautiful
Bringing sweetness in the mouth
To remind us all of
The bounce & dance of words
Of the bounce & dance of life
The going up & travelling down

Dress for me
Wear your brightest shirts,
& paint your nails
Let your bangles clack & your earrings dangle
Drench yourself in perfumes
Drench yourself in the colour of your life
Dress with texture & with pleasure
Be glorious & fizz with me
One last time

Do not bring me to mass
Or bury me under the grass
For catholicism is not my creed
It does not know me
& I have no truck with it
How could I, after all it did?
(But that, dear friends, is another poem)

Please lay me out
In a place that has beauty
Bring flowers & berries for my coffin
Not fancy ones, just from the garden
If it’s spring, some tulips and scented hyacinths
To welcome me back to my earthly bed

Cremate me
Somewhere lovely
Let the fires take me
Happily

Then bring me to the woods
& leave me with the trees
To begin again
In other forms & fancies

This earth life is lovely
Sharp & short
Though at the end
We grieve the death
Of dancing in this form
Let’s honour all our messy joys

Let’s value in our dying
What we love in living
Slicing through the sadness
Into luscious life

Instead of a letter of wishes
I give you this,
In Dublin, March 2023
Being sound & space
In body

A Poem by Deirdre Gleeson

Images : Sandra Seitamaa / Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Deirdre Gleeson
Deirdre Gleeson
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