I swallow a deep sob because some things are best swallowed. That’s not dirty, swallowing. Take it down, your medicine.

Kind words make me sad because I can feel the hard edges of them. I can feel the tenderness of my own soul, and I wish I was just a hair harder. Which makes no sense because hair breaks very easily but there is nothing that can be done to make it stronger. It’s already dead.

My aunt died. She’s dead, not dying. I wasn’t around much when she was just living.

What I remember most is how her blue eyes welled with tears when she was in pain and lonely. At the funeral, did they cry for her or did they cry for me? I didn’t go to the visitation. I didn’t want to see her dead. I’d seen her plenty when she was dying. They said she looked as though she were smiling. What I remember are tears that they didn’t see her shed. And then at the funeral, I saw their tears, too, and realized I am maybe only witness to her dying and her death. Her collapse and theirs.

This isn’t a poem, only a thought. This isn’t broken, this is breaking.

 

At the funeral

it was brief

the service

the prayer

my unmuffled sobs

 

They were all doing fine

not a sound

and then at the end

my shoulders shook

until everyone’s shoulders shook

 

At the funeral

they had their suffering too

and then at the end

unmuffled sobs

and shoulders that shook

About these ads