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  Ashes to Ashes. A family poem by Australian writer Graeme King - funny, sad, serious and romantic poems. Poems for children, nature and environment poems. ©kingpoetry2007.

Ashes to Ashes

The family gathered round the dining table,

The lawyer said: "I've news to tell you all:

Your great-aunt Sarah passed away last Monday,

At ninety-three she heard the angels' call.


"You thought she made her jam out in the garage,

and sold it at the annual county fair,

but Sarah built a giant corporation,

and passed away a multi-millionaire.


"I don't think that you realized her fortune,

she made a pretty penny canning plums,

there's twenty-seven million left behind her."

The Father quickly started doing sums.


Forgetting Uncle Ernie, who was senile,

and Grandma, who was far too old to care,

just he and Mother, with the seven children,

the nine of them would take an equal share!


Old Sarah, who'd have thought she had a treasure?

They'd seen her last - oh, must be years ago,

she'd had the nerve to offer him employment,

he didn't want her help, and told her so.


She'd always sent a card on every birthday,

they meant to say their "thank you's," but somehow

they never found the time to go and visit,

but anyway, it didn't matter now!


So now he could retire and live the good life,

the craggy-faced old bag had done the trick,

the lawyer's phone call was so unexpected,

he hadn't even known that she was sick!


The lawyer cleared his throat, "I'll read the will now:

'To all my loving relatives and kin,

I need to make a very small confession:

As I am writing this I wear a grin.


'You never got up off your bums to visit,

and no-one wrote, or used the telephone,

for all these years, my nephews and my nieces

have stayed away, and I have been alone.


'I'm sure you didn't know about the money,

I kept that part a secret, just to see,

if you had known that I was worth a fortune

you would have hung around me constantly.


'My ashes have been strewn - as per my wishes,

I'd not expected one of you to care,

my will states: "Any person at the funeral

will take it all, my sole surviving heir."


'Now, I can't tell the future, but I'll bet you

that no-one made it to the cemetery,

just me, alone again, at my cremation,

no fuss, no friends at all, no family.


'The next part of my will is quite explicit,

so, sorry guys, but you've missed out, you see,

my fortune, all in cash, was in the coffin,

goodbye, my dears, it all burned up with me!'"




Original picture by Graeme King ©Kingpoetry2007  BACK to TOP