Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Mortician's Son, on the Custom of Burying Bodies Barefoot

If you have been to funerals, you know
the body's buried fully dressed. Except
for shoes
. Once, while relations keened and wept—
you understand, I was a kid. A show
was all it was to me. I'd yet to grow
into my own griefs. Anyway, I crept
behind the coffin where the corpse was kept,
pulled up the satin to reveal... a toe.

I screamed. The family rushed in from the wake
and father smacked me. Later on, he said,
"I wouldn't have you think we rob the dead.
Tradition says the shoes are ours to take.
They're clean, you know. Don't be afraid of germs."
But I had thought that corpse's toe... a worm.

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

6 comments:

TaunaLen said...

The sonnet is one of my favorite poetic forms. I think it's amazing. I find it a challenge to fit the form exactly, and that makes it the perfect word puzzle. This poem is very nice. It inspires me, and hopefully it will nudge my muse into some sort of writing mood.

Michelle Johnson said...

I absolutely love the ending of this poem. Have a great night.

Stan Ski said...

when we were very young...

Linda Jacobs said...

Masterfully executed and told! You are so good at sonnets!

Tumblewords: said...

Perfect!

Crafty Green Poet said...

very well crafted, must have been a shock for the child though...