Catherine Eunson



The Virtuous Man

He was wise, there is no doubt,
and he was seaworthy
but equally buoyant was his life-giving wife.

Together they captained a commendable crew,
everybody knew theirs was a kind ship, well run,
and of its like there were few.

Then he died (it’s coming to us all)
his funeral was on Saturday, and in the church
we sat sadly, surrounded by reminders;

the paintings on each wall, the form of every statue,
all images depicted there were bearded, earnest and upright,
they could have been his brothers.

His obituary was fulsome, a respectful chronicle
of  achievement, and his wife was mentioned too,
who was more than his anchor,

more than seasoned timbers, more vital to the voyage
than all the precious cargo,
she held to the horizon and kept their bearings true.

So was it just churlish, before that last hymn,
to note that her send off is not
likely to be quite so well referenced?




Catherine Eunson lived in Benbecula for some time, where she had various music and arts related jobs. She composed music for Pauline Prior-Pitt’s ‘North Uist Sea Poems’ (see, as well as having had poetry published.

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