funerals

By Emmy Kwan

funerals are pretty compared to deaths
grim reaper set his tent at our doorstep
waiting for the moment to seize and escort
away our grandmother for judgement day.

funerals are pretty compared to deaths
it comes as a phone call with no pretext.
dead silence in the car, emotions complex
inside the tears of my mother, grief expressed.

funerals are expensive compared to
life’s first breath; in a cot, a cradle
thinking life is a made-up novel;
casket decorated with baby breaths.

funerals follow templates, facades
of normalcy, for stability.
lilting laughter floating, bittersweet
mangoes arriving, served in between

service. piano keys blur black and white, grey
behind a shield of short tears, willing
to flow. but what do i grieve about
for a woman lost in her senile years.

it’s a love unspoken, guaranteed but
shallow. it’s emotions complex, of
choking bittersweet pity and resent.
its piano keys, black and white, clear clarity.

funerals follow templates, facades
kept for normalcy. but emotions are
flowing, halting, scaly, black silk rivers
unkept, unwoven; quivering mirrors.


Emmy Kwan is a regular nineteen year old literature nerd from Singapore. She writes mostly poems, but also short stories, and about anything and everything, from societal disparity issues like gender inequality to mundane local life. In addition to writing, Emmy does traditional and digital art, and aims to open a sticker shop (which you could visit on Instagram @kwantalogue 😉)

Image: @zachlez via Unsplash

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