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Young Writers Society

Funeral In Unglaciated Country

by GoodieGoat

Funeral In Unglaciated Country

I'm staring in the mirror at false skin, all my inquietudes declawed,

I cast my pail into the wellspring of my soul, hoping there's something left to be drawed

Can a sky be so gray? As though heaven is a nightmare and we are trapped below,

The ground is powdered with but a few dustings, but it's as cold as a thousand snows

Oh the afternoon is drawing closed, I best be saying goodbye,

When we mingled then it was so hazy, but the memory now is painfully clear,

Even then you held us all esteemed while I twitched in the assembled conventioneers

Even when they hate it, the young should clench their youth and be holding fast,

Because now there's no way to return to the mirthful faithful in emancipation amassed

My engine turns and I think to myself; "Why you? It was my turn to die."


I've never driven this far south, and I see where the glaciers abated 10,000 years ago,

The highways lonesome, all the evils creepin', what's in the farms and woods I don't want to know

I swear the horizons cursed, behind it the headless children sing,

I turn the corner and I swear, I see them spying behind the winged sycamores of spring

Back northbound, turned around, and lo there's that precious plastic chapel,

The sweetest nectar can distill the finest mead,

And your hospitality betrays a kindliness that none could ever superseded

You treated me as if I were your son, every shady menace killed on sight,

Fellowship is so fleeting, but then I was tickled by the happy whiskers of the night

I hold the fruitage of sixty-six books, and I bite that bitter apple


I was late, but I think my presence was what mattered in people's minds,

And though it's just behind the door, I left my beliefs very far behind

That preacher man espoused from the stage, about your hope and the promised prince,

And I just stared at your memorial, my mind giving me nothing to evince

I'm staring in the bathroom mirror, reflecting on belief,

Yonder with you was my jubilation, the arcadia of my dreams,

And every time was a new education, I'd graduate with your son it seems

And when I was there I was happy, because I wasn't so alone,

The forest was so pretty, and it's baptismal streams where were I could atone

It's wine for our excitement, it's religion for when it's our time to leave


I've got three boys, I do love them all,

All of them are weepin', one is building for them a castle tall

And I've got three girls, for them my heart and tear ducts are aglow,

All of them have my sweetest sympathies, and two I used to know

And as for the siblings, the anchorage of my heart for thee does so heavily weigh,

I didn't want to write this poem about me, I really, really tried,

It was selfish of me but I really miss you, I guess I don't know what's eating me up inside

God will send his only son for thee, and you'll reflower the frozen plain,

But I'll be dust and ashes scattered to the winds, these hills forever my domain

I'm sorry for your loss, thank you for letting me in your lives both previously and today


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59 Reviews

Points: 25
Reviews: 59

Sun Apr 02, 2023 3:27 pm
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TheCornDogEnthusiast wrote a review...

This is a complex and deeply introspective piece that deals with themes of loss, grief, and reflection. The language is dense and layered, using a range of metaphors and allusions to explore the speaker's emotional state.

The opening lines set the tone for the poem, with the speaker examining their own appearance and searching for something left in their soul. The idea of a gray sky and a cold, powdery ground add to the bleakness of the scene.

As the poem progresses, the speaker reflects on memories of the person who has passed away, noting their own discomfort in social situations while the deceased was held in high esteem. The theme of youth and its fleeting nature is explored, with the speaker regretting not holding onto it tighter.

The second stanza takes the reader on a journey through an eerie, isolated landscape, where the speaker observes strange and unsettling sights. The plastic chapel, mentioned towards the end of this stanza, stands out as a contrast to the rest of the scenery, offering a sense of comfort and kindness.

The third stanza returns to the funeral and the speaker's struggle to find meaning in the preacher's words. The memory of being with the deceased person in nature is described as a form of education, and the line "it's religion for when it's our time to leave" suggests that the speaker finds solace in nature rather than traditional religious beliefs.

The final stanza addresses the speaker's family and their grief, with the speaker expressing love and sympathy for each member. The poem ends on a note of gratitude towards the deceased and those who have allowed the speaker into their lives.

Overall, the poem is well-crafted and thought-provoking, offering a glimpse into the complex emotions that come with loss and grief. The language is rich and evocative, though at times it may be difficult to decipher the exact meaning of certain lines.

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355 Reviews

Points: 2099
Reviews: 355

Sun Mar 26, 2023 4:27 am
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LadySpark wrote a review...


wow. just wow.

this is so excellent I don't really have any critiques. You have such a carefully established rhythm there's nothing really I can speak to. I absolutely adore this almost disassociated retrospection of a tragic experience. There's an element of surrealism to this that is just amazing and hits deep to the bone. I really like the way you used the landscape in your imagery, it really blends nicely with the stark nature of the language and other imagery you use. I also like how free and open the verse is, while you still have a very solid rhythm behind each line to the next. The stanza breaks are nice, but perhaps not necessary. Maybe just let them stand alone. But that's really all I have to say as far as critiques.

Really, really, really good stuff. Can't wait to read more!

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Points: 186
Reviews: 4

Sat Mar 18, 2023 3:20 pm
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noahfencebut wrote a review...

oh, this is so good. i love it.

when i read work like this, it keeps me inspired to keep writing. i just love the voice and the image this poem creates—that saddened, slightly cynical tone… it’s perfect. and the semantic field you’ve created. so scrumptious. i also really enjoy the story being told here, and how the speaker delivers it. just beautiful.

i think you’ve picked your words really carefully and it shows—for example, the discussion of religion in the context of a funeral is so reflective and thought-provoking, especially in the way you’ve presented it to the reader (i’d say ‘slightly doubtful’?). and i think the way you’ve weaved images of nature in with the poem is also really wonderful. it’s very beautiful, and very sad.

a thought: i guess if you wanted to create a sense of finality, something as simple as a full-stop on the final line could work well—especially considering the poem is centred around a funeral? however, i appreciate that maybe you’re not going for a sense of finality, which is really interesting too. gives me ideas of of a life lost too soon. just a thought (take it with a grain of salt, i’m nitpicking at an unnecessary level—i literally can’t think of much else to say).

overall, beautiful poem. onwards and upwards!! :D

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