King of the Road (bp coyle)

For as long as I recall, Uncle Davy sang ‘King of the Road’ at every family get together. No birthday party, wedding or christening was complete until he had taken to whatever stage was available and belted it out in his best Roger Miller impression.

Standing by his graveside with my sister, I wonder how many times he must have sung it.

‘Why is it always raining and cold when we come to this place?’ my sister asks. I shrug and pull my coat tighter.

Most of the other mourners have already gone to seek shelter. Aunt May, dressed in black, approaches. ‘There’s food and something warm to drink back at our house,’ she tells us.

We assure her we’ll be along shortly and she goes off, accompanied by her daughter, out cousin Liz.

It really is miserable here, yet we can’t seem to pull ourselves away from this dark hole in the ground. The cemetery is otherwise deserted.

I sigh. ‘Who’ll sing King of the Road now?’

‘Trailer for sale or rent,’ she begins, softly, hesitantly. ‘Rooms to let for fifty cents.’

I feel the tears begin, tears I had held off during the funeral.

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