Guest of Honor – six feet under.
Whisky pours, cubes of ice drowning.
Stiff drinks raised heavenward.
To Selma: Goddess, Mother and Scientist.
Lover of Plants and Animals.
Guardian of Capitalism’s Stray Humans.
Alcohol Imbibers accept celestial verdicts.
Deniers of death wander room to room, awaiting her return.
Prisoners of Anger pilfer overstuffed drawers.
Bargainers pace a central, shabby hall.
Depressives are locked behind bathroom doors.
They’ll emerge once their toilet paper runs out.
Charles, handyman and caregiver, infuriates:
“Why can’t I change places with her?
Why can’t she be cloned? When will she come back?”
And, at the funeral: “Why can’t I see her?”
Not our custom to look upon the dead.
Just remember how pretty she looked during your last visit.
Charles proclaims: “I was the one who saw her every day.”
Steely eyes bore into blood-lined mourners.
Fifty-something sisters wince and wonder:
Did we fail to properly honor thy father and thy mother?
A crescendo of regret spills into the night….
“I didn’t call enough.”
“I didn’t visit enough.”
“I did not sufficiently question medical authority.”
“I did not realize how sick she was.”
“I didn’t bring the sleep apnea machine soon enough.”
Mid-life daughters weep with Maternal Desire.
Rivalry melts amid shared, shed tears.
Come midnight – a collective sigh.
What hath guilt wrought?
A sibling peace for all time.