NaPoWriMo: Day 25

A mute is not just someone who cannot (or chooses not to) speak. It is also the name for a particular person’s role in a Victorian funeral. The role of the mute was to lead the funeral procession and look a bit glum, in doing this they would inform the rest of the attendees exactly how they should look. I love this, the idea that people need to be reminded they should be in mourning. Mute’s were usually only employed for the funeral’s of the rich, which is fairly apt. The best reference I can think of is of course Dickens, in Oliver Twist “There’s an expression of melancholy in his face, my dear … which is very interesting. He would make a delightful mute, my love”

Muted

They keep time, still. Keep faces the same,
lead the procession onwards.
Ever the professionals,
They do their job and show us,
how we should do ours.

We forgot, how to cry for the dead,
how to lay flowers, throw dirt
miss everyone who left us,
forgot to replace their eyes
with pennies, or rest a plate
of salt and Earth upon them.

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