Issue 13 | Winter 2013

The Funeral

On the night of your uncle’s funeral, your mother tells you
how the priest drove the wrong way to the cemetery,
while both Aunt Sofia and the hearse turned right instead of left,
and when they finally met at the gravesite, the priest
got out of the car and started yelling at Aunt Sofia,
waving his hands and saying, “Why didn’t you follow me,”
because he was embarrassed, and Aunt Sofia cried and said something
in her Hungarian English, and later your father went up to the priest
and told him he should be ashamed, she was a woman
at her husband’s funeral—and when it is all over, across the country,
you say the rosary for your uncle at your desk on base
with your work spread out in front of you, and your hands
run over the beads and over the papers but instead of Mary’s face
all you can see is the priest, waving his arms in the cemetery,
and your uncle, how he would have laughed if he had been there.

Filed under: Poetry