Funerals are cheaper than weddings,
both cost less than a christening.
Snakehips went down like the Wurlitzer
in the ballroom beneath Blackpool Tower
after speeches featuring jokes
made once by the deceased
in the presence of the speaker.
All involved seemed to agree
there was no point in dredging
the depths of grief for words.

We had a few old hits
Step It Up And Go,
The Midnight Shift, no encore,
then outside in the carpark
a gathering round a pile of flowers
already litter in the gale,
the rain blurred every name,
somewhere below Snakehips got burnt,
I hope they packed him
sieved and dried
not like something you'd
heel into the gutter.

No invitations, the word goes round,
a card on the notice board
an hour off work,
a jar of dust and
a folded card, inside
a photo of a student looking
glad to be alive.
Black cars scatter over London
like beetles from a hole,
put your foot down and drive.

Snakehips leaves a widow,
she shakes and coughs
she did before
but now she'll do it
on her own.
Her future's narrowed
the garden's empty
there's no one in the room
or on the phone, I've
done the gig
I'm coming home.