Mourning dress, or how to dress well on a shilling a day
by Ben Macnair
They have crossed the river,
the rites have been performed,
the right etiquette observed,
centuries of behaviour refined,
the correct attire, defined.
The established order is shaken,
families of all classes, broken.
Carte de visite photography,
all trades need to be paid for.
Another expense, next to the coffin,
the church, the warden.
The mourning dress, only ever to be worn
following the loss of a lover, a parent, a sibling,
never worn lightly,
and in the aftermath,
the death of the light,
the circus has left town,
and only the shock, the numbness,
the loss of being remain.