Daily Archives: July 13, 2021

An Old Poet Contemplates The Family Business

1.
Your family gladly tucks you into
the bed you grew up in
when you are sick, sick as
possible, even if you are
impossibly sick —
better still, in fact, if it is
an illness that is best left
undescribed in the refined company
they claim to have kept;
a disease of inches and spew
that will keep others guessing
long after you pass. But
do not dare to be healthy
if you desire their love. Do not
imagine that their embrace,
even in your worst moments,
is love at all.

2.
When you die do not allow
a physicist to speak at your funeral
of the undead nature
of your being. They know all that;
they are counting on it. Instead
I recommend an engineer, a
locomotive driver; someone who can speak
of how long it takes a train to stop
from full speed, how much force
its impact delivers; someone
to point out that the track you were on
only ever went one way and
looking back over the narrow rails
of where you were during your life
tells you little about the landscape around them,
the views that broke your heart,
the places you longed to visit
without them in tow.

3.
Understand that even after hearing that,
the family will never sell
your sickbed. Instead they’ll make
a museum of your room, keep it
unclean and sigh when they sell tickets
to anyone who comes by.