2/28/2009

Funeral Free Verse

Almost forgetting which way to get to the church, the one where my grandparents grew up and my parents were wed.
A careful parking job, and a flaming orange hang-tag, ensures I can follow to the cemetery.
Surprising my cousin's boss--he, there in his priestly capacity; I, there in my familial (non-singing) one.
Aunt D's spirit is gone, from that tiny body.
The teenage grandson with Down Syndrome, wondering where Gram is (most likely soon to understand she is with his father).
Her price is beyond pearls.
The creepy echo of the sound system.
"We are here because we have hope."
Incense, later mixed with my uncle's cigarettes, in my coat and hair.
One great-aunt, often upset when she saw my deceased great-aunt during her illness, strangely calm.
The cousin I idolized as a child, driving off after a quick hug.
Relatives not often seen (two years? six years?), not recognizing me.
The thrill of catching up.
"You look amazing." (Attributed to having quit my corporate job--graduating--a black knit dress that was my bargain birthday present to myself.)
Vegan talk with an older cousin, about the great chef at his restaurant.
Selfless aunt, venting about self-centered sister (other aunt).
Shouting affectionately to my hard-of-hearing grandfather.
Hurried, rueful, goodbyes because I have to go to work.
Hope that the next gathering comes out of joy.

2 comments:

Mr. Bingley said...

Hope that the next gathering comes out of joy.

Gosh, ain't that the truth. With all the running around and stresses in life it seems that the only time we see folks is at sad affairs.

Kate P said...

Yup, that, and if other people's families are like mine, they're just too spread out--funerals and weddings are the few times we decide it's worth the trip.