Requiem for a Woodlouse

Busy sweeping up my house
I came across a woodlouse
lying on the curve of its back
beside an armchair.
What, asleep my love? Dead, my dove?
I saw that he was reaching up,
legs all akimbo – petitioning the Gods.

The absence of dignity sat at odds with me
so I picked him up, brought him outside,
rested him on the concrete coalbunker.
From the drawer – a soup spoon,
a matchbox, some cotton wool.

The spoon laden with a serving of dirt
emptied to my inverse image
faintly reflected in the convex curve;
sadly Mr. Woodlouse we’re all fodder for the worms.

The tiny coffin lowered slowly
before the ground was patted down.
Beside the plot an inscription which read:
Here lies armadillo bug, cheeselog, cheesy bug, doodlebug, pill bug,
potato bug, chuggypig, chucky pig, gramersow, butcher boy.
Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine

I blessed myself in the manner I was taught
(spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch)
and stepped back inside to resume my chores.



Poem by Chris McLaughlin

Chris McLaughlin was born and raised in Strabane, in the north of Ireland. He now lives in Manchester, UK. His pamphlet of ‘Five Poems’ was published in 2015 by PenPointsPress. With a creative output that was stifled for a long time by addiction issues and just getting by, he’s now trying to make up for lost time, while continuing to walk the line.