Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Afore a First Funeral

When I was five years old, I  
went to my first funeral—
my mother’s mother had died,
“Gran Lur-i-a” she was known.

This funeral proved my own
honor for a part of me 
died on that venerable 
occasion of Gran’s passing.

As she lay on her death bed
in agony from cancer,
all family members  stood
in line to say their goodbyes.

When it came my turn I did
tremble from the unknowing
as I walked into her room.
She noticed and beckoned me

to her bedside with fingers
curled from arthritis.  Sunlight
poured over her poor body
writhing in pain and trouble.

She straightened up in bed and 
said the plainest of words that
did calm me, . . . Dearest boy, fear
not, death don’t last forever.

After she died her body
got laid in a corpse pose:
flat of the back, heels touching,
arms at the side, palms upward. 

To this day I pray that way.

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