We wait in line

For the deceased

To come to church

To be laid to rest by the priest

To become part of the body of Christ

At the Feast of Saints

As the woman behind us rises

And faints

You are always ready to smile

At the least among us

At least you’re the one among us

Who still has the heart of a child

We are waiting for the service to start

I feel wild

I’m so hungry

My stomach is a crater

And I could almost go

Immediately to sleep

Right now, not later

My exhaustion is a thousand miles deep

Even the pallbearer starts to remind me

Of a waiter

Who could maybe bring me something

To eat

What I would not give for some bread

This is not what you are

Supposed to think about

When someone is recently dead

Is it too human?

Is it wrong to be hungry

For the communion?

(Whine, wine, whine, wine)

I try to bring my mind back

To the windows

To the colorful images of suffering

On the cross

I try to remember

This is a time of celebration

A marking of permanent loss

I try not to laugh

At the funeral singer

I suddenly remember

An Officer and a Gentleman

And Debra Winger

And how much I wanted to be like that girl

In the arms of Richard Gere

Wearing white

What a sight that was

Such a long time ago

Seems like just last night

Last night I was thinking about us

Being young

You hand me a mint

I let it dissolve on my tongue

And open the hymnal

To share words of comfort

Meant to leap out and reach us

Meant to fill us

And the air

With our own voices


Life was a series of choices

I stare straight ahead

It hasn’t hit me yet that anyone is really dead

I’m still thinking about bread

Not nearly enough

To make this better

Tomorrow we will start

To go through things together

Things that hold fast the place

Between life and the life after

That strange space in between

You pat my hand

As if you have seen I’m on the verge

Of laughter and/or tears

We’ve been through this before

Over and over again

Over the years

But this time it’s so much closer

Ave Maria in our ears

(Who’s the composer?)

Soon we are back in the car

Switching gears

Smelling leather, smelling hot tar

And some stranger scent

From a jar of Febreze

(can this get a little easier, please?)

I put my head to the window

And look at the trees

They wave at me

And let their hair blow

Tossing in the breeze

Like Farrah Fawcett

I’m ready to go home now

And get right into bed

Instead we go to a restaurant

Where a waiter brings a basket

Of bread

And life begins again

You say

I can cry now

But we both smile

And eat instead

©2020 Julie Flanders

About octoberprojectmusic

Julie Flanders Marina Belica Emil Adler
This entry was posted in October Project, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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