It Was Enough
After the autopsy,
the plan was a simple transfer
from that table to the funeral parlor.
But I wanted you home,
a place you couldn’t seem to reach.
You were just here for the holidays,
but you’d been gone so long.
So the station wagon fire-red hearse
parked under the basketball court,
where you once played endless NBA games,
you chalking, me cheating
the stations of Around the World.
Now you stay put.
The winter light plays out
under the driveway’s broken maple boughs
while I go over with the undertaker
Mass card designs, casket models, prayer order.
Every time I stepped outside to say
hello and goodbye,
all I saw of the back seat
was your tautened feet
and thin legs, too thin,
up to about your bony knees,
up to where the opaque windows hid you.
(Stretched straight, hardened like Christ’s
after the cross, I thought.)
All I would ever more see of you,
in the plush magenta funeral blanket.
Copyright © 2018 by Sharon Kennedy-Nolle. This poem appeared in Delmarva Review, Vol. 11 (2018). Used with permission of the author.