Children are building their teacher a coffin.
There it is in the paper, somewhere in Holland,
a good plain coffin made of many parts,
and two of the children
call each day and talk to the teacher
to keep the teacher posted. Is she happy?
She is ill but quite contented.
What will they give her to take with her
into the earth at last, or across those borders
where only teachers travel? There is dark energy there
and multiplication tables, and many children are in a room
with chisels and planes and spirit levels.
They must be making something wonderful.
Everything needs to be straight.
I made a boat, a tie-rack, a wooden spoon.
The boat sat on a mantlepiece in several different houses.
It was happy with its yellow funnel,
somewhere it is sailing. And everywhere children
are waving and working hard.
They are building their teacher a coffin.