Funeral Sandwiches

It comes down to the ceremony now, the detail.
Pressing your shirt with the cutaway collar, not too much starch,
the way you liked it.
I sent the shoes that were a bit small,
but they were so fine-looking and you would approve.
At the last minute I remembered your favourite photo of all of us
for tucking into your suit jacket pocket.

Now to prepare the food for the mourners,
sandwiches to begin.
Made differently today,
the correct word is painstakingly.
The butter must be spread
to each and every corner of the bread,
sliced precisely
from freshly-baked loaves.

Heap both sides of the bread lavishly with spreads,
no scrimping.
No celery, you hated it.
Remove the crusts:
Sacrilege in these parts.

Assemble them ever so gently
before making the final cuts
into perfect quarters.
Clean the knife after each one.
Display them proudly
on my most treasured serving pieces.
And cloth napkins.
Only cloth.

All is ready.
Invite them in.
Let me get it right
this once.


About the Poet:
Tricia McCallum, a Glasgow-born Canadian, is an award-winning writer and poet and frequent Huffington Post Blogger. She is the author of two books of poetry: The Music of Leaving (Demeter Press, 2014) and Nothing Gold Can Stay: A Mother and Father Remembered in 2011. McCallum also publishes fiction. Her short story “Clutter” won a Toronto Star award for fiction writing. But her unrivalled passion is poetry and is particularly proud to have twice won the member-voted poetry competition at Her poems are about commonplace things, McCallum says, but she adds that they are not necessarily simple. “The abstract never drew me,” McCallum explains. “I don’t think in those terms. The day-to-day world and all its supposed mundane detail provides me more than I need. “To me it’s not mundane. To me it’s magic.” Read more of Tricia’s work at:


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Photo by Milada Vigerova