All my mother’s rambling
by Briel Felton
involves her death. She tells me which casket
not to put her in. Not pink, not gold.
Off white. I suggest cremation; it's cheaper.
Don’t you dare, she says.
She doesn’t care. She wants
to lay in a mausoleum.
I say, Your life insurance won’t cut it. She says
this poetry thing will jump off by then.
She tells me to dress her in burnt orange.
I ask if she wants me to put her in a bra.
You better. Make sure they make me
up nice. I visualize her long hair
curled andspread out on funeral pillows,
hands folded above her pubic bone,
where her organs used to be.
I see myselfgoing up to the casket
and positioning her middle finger
to flipoff the mourners.They will be too afraid
to touch her, wondering, Who is this meant for?
I'll pull the corners of her burgundy stained lips
into a smile. She’ll say Fuck you to the hypocrites
who didn’t call while she was in the hospital,
to the ones who overworked her. The ones who
broke her heart. Yeah, Fuck you.
She says, One more thing: don’t cry too much.
I rollmy eyes pretending to be over this.
I say, By the time you die it will be a relief.
back to University & College Poetry Prizes