A Secret Pocket

“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.” ~ Pope Paul VI

.
I wasn’t crying
because you’re dead—
I know your soul
will always be
blissful. I wept

while stitching a secret
pocket into your shroud
(for tiny whiskey bottles,
dance music, stolen kisses,
a handwritten note…), and I
pricked my finger
with a needle.

The note says nothing
about sleeping or castles,
just… I miss you.

.
the wee notes…
The Wickedest of my Luvs asked for a “shroud”. I wrote one. Next week, I might write some “flesh”. We’ll see… since they’ve also asked for “souls” and an “eyeball”.
– Written for Hedgewitch’s Friday 55, also linking to Poets United.

75 thoughts on “A Secret Pocket

  1. So much in 55 words – this is stunning Magaly. You have so many emotions reflected in there – the obvious joy the deceased had while living their life, a touch of whimsy in the fairy tale mention, and of course the devastation of loss, brought home by the last line.

    • Thank you, Rommy. It was a good piece to write–real and happy and sad and, as you so well put it, a bit whimsical. I always enjoy taking time to wonder about what my little brother might be doing in his soul’s version of paradise. I’m almost convinced that it involves whiskey and dancing… and random notes from me.

  2. The quote is so true, I had been told that the moment we are born, that that was the start of us dying.. Dying is part of the life cycle..
    Your poem touched me… Its all about the immaterial things in life- the important things.

  3. Of all the ways you could have gone with that word, this one is the most surprising and delightful–not words one really associates with a shroud–because of the possibilities it provides within our own living souls about a subject (death) which doesn’t exactly scream ‘free will.’ Yet we are free to live around it, and to make it secret pockets of the imagination, filled with love. I love this Magaly, and it is one of my instant favorites of yours. Thanks for playing, for choosing to write this in 55 words, and many wishes for a kickass weekend.

    • My favorite librarian used to say, “Death thinks it has the last word, but it doesn’t. Not if we keep on screaming about how much the still love our dead after the bastard has taken them.” Maybe poetry and imagined real shrouds are gentle screams.

  4. I like this one. I can’t always connect emotionally with your stuff because I am a robot without feelings, but this one, I definitely did. I also like the Pope Paul VI quote.

    Alan Watts (who was quoting someone else) once wrote that we should all have a skull as the centerpiece of the dinner table just to remind us that we’re all dying. That sounds morbid, but it’s not, really. Merely a reminder of where we’re headed. Sing while ye may.

  5. Powerful…..pure gentle beauty woven in every word. The photo of dried roses and shroud is stunning and meditative! I love the magical contents in the secret pocket..whiskey bottle /dance music etc..sacred and sublime.. and so celebratory!

    Loved every moment of this
    have a magical wkd my friend!
    Victoria

    • I used to really dislike roses (weird, I know). But my little brother seriously loved them. After he died, I started looking at them differently–the blooms reminded me of him, so… I started liking them. I keep them around the house, dried ones mostly… It’s like seeing bits of his smile eternally blooming around.

      I hope your Sunday is perfect.

  6. A tiny secret pocket (I’m enamored with) seems like it could hold the entire world inside. love morphs like that, it fits anywhere…. this was so sweet Magaly.

  7. Haven’t been by here in awhile, saw a comment of yours on someone else’s blog and remembered your blog. So glad I did as I love, LOVE your poem. We all need some secret pockets. Thank you so much for your wonderful words!

  8. I simply can not cry for the dead. Not that I am pleased at their passing but I have seen so many go to not return…

    This reminds me of my father-in- law, my MiL spent tens of thousands for his funeral. That just wasn’t him at all–my brother in law (now gone too) cut a piece of his always worn red checked flannel jacket a few cigarettes, and three cans of Budweiser and snuck them into his suit pockets and the closed portion of the casket. He at least got his start up gear despite my MiL and her anger when we told her three days later.

    I like the idea of a shroud–but one like the old navy would use, pierce my nose with the final stitch and slide me over the side.

    Mighty good 55 Malagay

    Walking Man

    • A few years ago, when my little brother died, I ended up fighting about the details of his funeral with a lot of people with whom I share blood. You see, I’ve never understood the idea of spending a fortune in funerals (especially a fortune one doesn’t quite have). I celebrate his life, always. I didn’t cry during the funeral, I rarely do in those occasions. But I’ve certainly cried since–when I look at the daughter that will never know him, when I think about the fact that 27 years is so very young, when I see or hear something I know he would have liked… But the tears aren’t always bad, it’s just salty remembrance.

      I want my shroud to be as imaginary as this one–full of love and memories that will hold my soul together, while my body goes to feed the trees and other living things.

      Thanks a bunch, Walking Man.

  9. Strangely enough I thought about the coin for Cain with that pocket… there is hope in giving a gift to send someone off… even more so if it’s not a the fare for the ferry.

  10. I miss you…that says it all. My mother died in June. She did not want a funeral. She simply wanted to be cremated and inserted in her mother’s grave. That is enough. I love the tiny pocket in the shroud that carries so much love and happiness in it.

    • My little brother was cremated, too. Most of his ashes are with me. The rest with other family members. But in my imagination, his soul wears all sorts of flashy shrouds (he loved bright colors), and I’m always putting things in secret pockets. 🙂

  11. There is a German saying, “The last shirt (i.e. the shroud) has no pockets” – and now I wonder what I would like to find in my own shroud pocket after zombification.

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