The white basket of roses and baby’s breath
placed near his feet by his five year old daughter
drew gasps and tears from all five hundred
mourners. She had insisted on a bouquet
fitting for a bride, not a man so young.
No one now remembers those who stayed away,
supposing they could catch that dreaded disease
from the little girl whose Daddy lay there
cold and silent. Only the closest
next of kin walked behind the oak wood
casket when, on his thirtieth birthday,
six of his friends carried him to his grave.