No Kind Of Tribute by Matthew J. Hall

a good sense of superstition
ought to keep me from speaking
ill of the dead

and this is poetry
so I’m already pushing my luck

but fuck it
what’s best;
a good person forgotten
or a memorable cunt?

she considered herself a mother
despite abandoning her three boys

she’d tell anyone who’d listen
and all who wouldn’t
all about
a mother’s sacrifice

she was diabetic
had late in life cancer
and her hatred was contagious

her breakfast table was
immigrant this and alien that
they were the reason she
never held a job
or a husband
or her children

she had quarrels with the television set
made enemies with the radio

she considered herself conservative
but her persuasions were far removed
from any political map

she said
there are no good men
heaven will be a lonely place

I imagined her
at god’s empty table
setting the christ straight

fuck, she was a hard bitch
less so, though
toward the end

I remember her
flipping the cushions as she tried to hide
the spots of blood

but there are only two opportunities
when it comes to turning pillows
and the blood spots were just the start of it

she wasn’t brave at the end
which was no surprise
she lacked courage in death
just as she had in life

I didn’t go to the funeral
and this poem is no kind of tribute
shit, it’s not even much of an account

it’s just reflective of a life that didn’t
amount to much
and ended on an anticlimactic note

Matthew J. Hall
Matthew J. Hall is a UK writer based in Bristol. His poetry chapbook, Pigeons and Peace Doves, is available through Blood Pudding Press. The Human Condition is a Terminal Illness, a full poetry collection, was recently published by Bareback Press. He reviews small press books at

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