John Betjeman

Aldershot Crematorium

Between the swimming-pool and cricket-ground
   How straight the crematorium driveway lies!
And little puffs of smoke without a sound
   Show what we loved dissolving in the skies,
Dear hands and feet and laughter-lighted face
And silk that hinted at the body's grace.

But no-one seems to know quite what to say
   (Friends are so altered by the passing years):
"Well, anyhow, it's not so cold today"—
   And thus we try to dissipate our fears.
'I am the Resurrection and the Life':
Strong, deep and painful, doubt inserts the knife.