Send the Fire

Dedicated to those who’ve suffered a fate worse than death: listening to funeral eulogies or music that was ‘just what he/she would have wanted.’

Ninety-nine was his age, Bill’s obituary said.
‘Fair innings’ said mourners, the chief of them Len.
Would he agree, poor old Bill, the chap who is dead?
Hark to Bill’s thoughts from his bier in the Crem.
‘Just a few more weeks and I could then see
If United next season have a ghost of a chance
Or if Sixty Plus Date Line had fixed it for me
To meet with a bird for a night of romance.’
‘No centenary pub do for poor little me,
Nor message from Queen Liz when I’m turned to ash.
Bet my numbers come up in the next Lottery
And some other bugger gets my winning cash.’
‘Hark. Old Len’s a-droning ’bout my bloomin’ life
How well I played so many differing roles.
Bet he don’t know was me who ’ad Gertie his wife
When he were dahn the park a-playing at bowls.’
‘If I could only lift this coffin’s tight lid,
I’d show ’em there’s life in this old geezer yet.
Carrying on doing the things I once did.

Gertie would agree. On that you can bet.’
The eulogy from Len grew longer and worse.
Inside his dark coffin Bill muffled his head.
Then someone read tearfully a sugary verse.
Bill muttered, ‘Sod it, it’s best to be dead.’
The vicar rose up with a twee voice to say:
‘A song just recorded by our Worship Choir;
A tune that Bill loved: that great song My Way.
Bill called aloud. ‘Turn on that bloody great fire.’

Alan Edwards

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