How did you die? They told us, you were holding the Holy Family, in the gasworks, until you slept peacefully.
In James Joyce “The Dead” I remember the death of Michael Furrey, who worked in the gasworks.
The gasworks and its toiled laborers are unsung heroes – young, daring and honest. They will light a candle for you.
If you were here now, you would be proud of me.
You would see how, you trained one little girl tug ducts of these brave eyes.
Your bloody shirt and the stain, folded with your empty wallet and your Hamilton watch were the last pieces of your relics.
I couldn’t forget you were slain, like a lamb, in firing guns.
That bullet near your heart,
Is an earth of grief for me,
A mountain on my mothers back
Drought fields for the young brothers and sister.
In the rosaries of my nights, I lament – every shot when you crawled, and reached for an image of holiness –
And raised it up, like a martyr –
But it was complicated
For a tax man, like Matthew.
Lights at the funeral
A room full of flowers from rich friends
A parade to the cemetery with poor friends
Your pretty face in the coffin
Your red lips were bruised
Your forehead was stitched
Your dislocated limbs
Palpable in your black coat.
You, a standing rock at 38 died.
And what we could do, is forgive –
May all the faithful departed rest in peace.
So “The Black Nazarene, ” listened, Father,
And Jesus so close now – Yes, God bows down –
And takes care of the orphans.
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