Exit Stage Left

Dignity

I have not seen the pyres
beside the Ganges
at Varanasi,
bodies burned to dust
on stacks of sandalwood
among tourists
and souvenir hawkers.

I only saw the local undertaker
arrive in a white RV with gold trim,
chrome ladder on the rear door,
and load you in.

Its battery also dead,
you waited an hour
of late June afternoon
in a rolling living room
with no A/C
for an actual hearse to arrive.

I chose to believe
you were stoic as ever.

Dignity

I have not seen the pyres

beside the Ganges

at Varanasi,

bodies burned to dust

on stacks of sandalwood

among tourists

and souvenir hawkers.

I only saw the local undertaker

arrive in a white RV with gold trim,

chrome ladder on the rear door,

and load you in.

Its battery was also dead.

You waited an hour

of late June afternoon

in a rolling living room

with no A/C

for an actual hearse to arrive.

I chose to believe

you were as stoic

as ever.

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2 thoughts on “Exit Stage Left

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