Those few hours after death

Death Fire

I would burn him,
it was our tradition.

"Any metal in the body?"
I checked, "Yes."

"Any mechanical devices?"
I understood and checked,
"Yes."

This is what it had come to,
the checking off of boxes.

"Will you require an urn?"
I checked, "No."

He'd come back to me
in a plastic bag
with a tag and
packed in a FedEx box.

It was OK.
I wasn't keeping them, the ashes.
That seemed creepy
to me
And he wouldn't have
wanted it.

I was dreaming of a
funeral pyre, with
emotional people, wails
of silence and
streams of tears
And wind to blow the ashes
to the four corners of this
world.

I smiled weakly at the
polite man with the forms
in the living room.
They would take care of it all.

I thanked the two men
who'd know my father
in another life time and place,
as they carried him away.

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Comments 7 comments

snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 5 years ago from Canada

It is really hard to process this entire situation, you caught the cold nuances, and contrasted it so dramatically with the fire of love burning in your heart. This obviously was not easy for you mbwalz, I wish you comfort in the memories you have of your dad. Thanks for sharing this. Regards, snakeslane


mbwalz profile image

mbwalz 5 years ago from Maine Author

Thank you snakeslane! He's been gone for a couple of years so it makes it easier to process this way. The simple details are what amaze me. :)


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 5 years ago from Canada

Yes, and it's hard to put into words, but you did it here brilliantly mbwalz. Good work. snakeslane


HattieMattieMae profile image

HattieMattieMae 5 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

Yes, that seems to be a difficult place, and something personal yet takes you into the pit of grief.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

This is such a difficult thing to take care of. Having to make decisions when we are grieving is the worst.

My parents had it all set up and paid for. Kept us from having to worry about what to do. All I had to do was give them a fax number to fax me papers to sign and then send back notarized. I went to the local bank and they took care of it all for me.

This was a beautiful poem.


Peter Geekie profile image

Peter Geekie 3 years ago from Sittingbourne

Dear mbwalz,

Thank you for your poem.

Those first few hours we tend to deal with in an almost numbed state and this scenario affects us many times throughout our lives, whether it be family, friend or much loved pet.

Voted up and beautiful

Kind regards Peter


mbwalz profile image

mbwalz 3 years ago from Maine Author

Thank you Peter!

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