Be Ye Also Ready


Aunt Candy collected death in small plastic bags on
the top shelf of her closet.
When she died, the good white shoes she needed to
enter the afterlife in were flat-piled into the corner,
hiding in secret with their eyes closed, sucking their thumbs.
Floral edges with gold scripted lettering, somber angels carrying rings of
flowers and trumpets plunging out of their rosy-fat cheeks;
all heralding death next to seventy-two packets of sweet & low,
and the program from All That Jazz.
Her best friend died thirty years earlier and the thin, yellowed, card
asked for you to remember her today and this day forward.
A child lived exactly ten years and ten days with
Oh dearly, dearly has He loved, and we must love Him too,
sprayed across the front, half-hidden by the card with the white Cross for Uncle Hal.
In Memoriam in perfect script looping along the top of each one
as though a line of girls in pleasant white dresses sat with their pencils,
and the morning sun fell just right,
on their neatly plaited heads.