I heard she made her kids promise to cremate her,
anything-but-anything not to go into the cold ground alone.
I remember I was young, but old enough—
now think it through, vice versa—
to know how transitory it all was:
the heat and she in just her bra, her kids looking scared
while she smoked her long thin menthols and asked me
for a glass of ice water.
I wouldn’t, today, know any of my cousins twice removed,
nor have a clue, life being what it is, to their scatterings
and shatterings, or what they embrace and what they cannot.
But I recall how slippery that glass was
with the condensation running down my back
and how the ice didn’t rattle as I handed it to her,
although it was a near thing. Now I rather think it might,
not that I care where they bury me.
Thank you for reading It goes with the territory. I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain, and as always, I look forward to your comments.
The photograph was taken at Benjamin Franklin’s grave in Philadelphia, PA. To see my photography, please visit the Book of Bokeh blog.
Photograph, notes and poem © John Etheridge; all rights reserved. The poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original written work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © John Etheridge, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com. The photograph is not licensed for use in any way without the expressed consent of its copyright owner.