Poem by Patricia Brodie
Photo by Cindy Williams
We sit on folding chairs and sing a hymn.
The pastor reads from Psalms:
Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul...
says he didn't know you,
talks in generalities.
Slow procession to the cemetery.
Our last view of you--your casket on the grass,
men in dark suits concealing it with wreaths of roses.
Back in our cars, we follow in a line to your house.
Where are the photos that were on your piano--
you and Bob at the Cape,
you, younger, holding Marcie,
looking serious at that first job after your Master's?
We smile as your grandsons run by;
no granddaughters to show off your thick curly hair.
Sandwiches and drinks in the dining room.
"It must have happened fast."
"The chemo didn't work."
"Why didn't she tell anyone?"
At last I find you--
shiny new handrails each side of the toilet.
I touch their cold aluminum.