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For Great Aunt Annora who died yesterday

Posted by jeresk on December 17, 2007 in My Mom's Poems |

it was a blessing

her passing a blessing

the cousins all say.

their blessing to us was being practical

and discouraging us these past twelve years

from visiting her in that place where she would not remember us,

where her confused soul would forget everything

quietly and we would forget her quietly until her quiet blessing

and only flowers expected at the funeral.

when she was still young, her hair started to thin

and she began to wear a wig so that’s how we remember her.

perfect pretend hair

and pretty lipstick over her perfect smile.

a happy woman.  independent and strong

after her husband died too young.

angry when her children took away her car keys

but grateful to us for driving her to the family reunion,

she told us a funny story.

she began…

you know, it’s been years since I’ve seen my old friend Mildred,

but she called me up the other day…

and when she was finished,

we laughed and I said how it’s nice to hear from old friends.

then she said …

you know, it’s been years since I’ve seen my old friend Mildred,

but she called me up the other day…

I will remember to get her flowers

befitting her blossoms of funny stories plucked from some stem of memory

when she could no longer dig up her own daughter’s name.

it’s dark December now so I’ll wait until May

when we decorate the graves.

she will be by her husband whom her disease brought back to life

just for her just for these dozen years in and out

as if gone to buy bread.

I’ll steal a branch or two of those musky lilacs

that grow on the bushes surrounding the patient cemetery

where the living go to remember until all is buried

and forgotten.

I am not a believer

so I will dress her in that purple

knowing that her solemn mormon daughters and granddaughters

dressed her in white and prepared her for the perfection of

resurrection.

but she will have a little purple from me

and a memory in May that will dry up and blow away as quietly

as a blessing.

the cousins are devotedly devout.

they will rest assured that she is eternal.

that the resurrection will restore her

to her perfect smile

to her perfect body restore her

to her perfect mind.

but being practical, I’m thinking, they will hedge their bets and bury

her

with the wig.

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