Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Pine Box (We Write Poems prompt)

We were asked to write about a box. Any box, literal or imaginary. These types of prompts are grist for the mill - they challenge the poet to think OUTSIDE "the box" and go deeper, ever deeper... this is about no one in particular. It's an amalgam of too many funerals over the years.


it’s being left behind
No matter how long the letting go
a piercing pain of loss permeates
every point of human contact
The look in their eyes
Phone calls from relatives you wrote off long ago and
acquaintances from bridge and board meetings
They’re all so sorry (they never really knew him)
They remember him (vaguely, but you never had us over to dinner)

The Viewing
A blur of
I’m sorry call me are you OK (duh) call me
he was such a good man what a loss to the family
the community
the world
call me

The Funeral
Same readings as your parents’ services
Same minister, even (wow, he’s getting old)
At the words, “In my Father’s house there are many rooms”
you break down, everybody cries, all fall down
Whoever wrote that part of the Bible
really understood torch songs

The minister drones on about our beloved
He didn’t really know my husband
This is more my church than it ever was his

If funerals are for the living
they should skip the eulogy

Soon The Box will be planted
but our love will continue to grow
through tears and healing and memories and stories we tell
He was just that good

(c) 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

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