Your coffin was so small,
Only I knew it was full of
candlewick bedspreads,
orange pekoe tea leaves
smoking chimneys over wet peat;

that steam rose there from
sweet winter herbs and pearl
onions and marrow bones
boiling all one afternoon
on the oven top in a stock pot,

and if I add the bolt of silk
you once brought home and
rolled out on a table, showing
the gloomy colour pewter becomes
by candlelight, it is because

the secret histories of things
deserve to linger, to belong again
to the coil of your hair I found once
as a child, dried out by shadows,
in a shut-tight wooden box

in which was a mirror with
an ornate handle, an enameled back,
the original mercury amalgam
blemishing the glass from which
your face disappeared years ago.