‘Internet Shopping’ by Jacqueline Saphra


Uncle Ted and I are window-shopping on the internet.
I say there’s nothing you can’t buy remotely and suggest
Costco, send him the link. I tell him that the padding’s good,

point out it’s comforting and solid; for him, only the best.
He sends me a link to Amazon: a pine affair, plain wood.
It does look flimsy though, and only this morning I read

about a vicar’s outrage at some badgers who’d upset
parishioners by digging up the recently deceased.
But I know such horrors would never bother Uncle Ted.

I still remember when he took anatomy and kept
Yorick, his pet skeleton, hanging up beside his bed.
Only eleven years between us. When I was a kid

he used to chase me round the sofa, trying to take my blood;
I had lovely veins he said, and tickled me till I wept.
Now, decades on, we play at funerals on the internet.

I send a smile: it’s out of stock, the casket that he picked.
So reassuring: he who loves me best can’t die just yet
but these are practicalities; we have to think ahead.
(published in Smiths Knoll 48)
Jacqueline Saphra‘s first full collection, The Kitchen of Lovely Contraptions (flipped eye, 2011), was developed with funding from The Arts Council of England and nominated for the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize.