Posted tagged ‘first experience of death poem’

Hole In the Heart

February 25, 2016

 Hole in the Heart

The other kids in that family
wore clothes that bore the limp
of hard wringing, their mother’s scrubbed
shouts, homemade
spaghetti sauce, but little Dolly’s pale dresses glowed, ruffles tottering
so sweetly about the hem, pink smocking–Dolly for Dorothy–which was why, she thought,
the saddest bouquet at the funeral parlor gathered rosebuds,
their card embroidered pink, the word
“Grampy,”

Her lips a rosebud, though her mother looked almost
as waxen, there at the back
of that dark room, her nose pinker and somehow longer
than she’d ever seen it, as if beginning
to melt, though how she saw
Mrs. K she wasn’t sure,
she tried so hard
not to look at anything, embarrassed not
by the face of grief but by ongoing
life, her own skin the rough smooth peel
of unripe fruit, the only crimping at the knees,
the imprint of grass stain.
.
They’d been so afraid of laughing, going in,
as if it were something they were doomed to,
she and Celeste, and when they stepped outside,
they walked wayward in the sun’s
blind daze till Celeste, who always knew best, said,
“I thought sure you were going to–”
and she protested, “no, I wasn’t–”

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Drafty poem for With Real Toads open platform.  Pic is mine as well as poem, all rights reserved.