MATCHING URNS

I think how three weeks before surgery
I thought (as I cleaned my apartment in case I
Didn’t make it so my mother wouldn’t have a
stroke when she first saw my place) how one of the
first things my first husband’s
second wife did after their marriage was to
get two places in a mausoleum so they would be
“together forever”(though in the traditional Jewish
religion I’m still married to him since we never had
a Jewish divorce—just the usual civil one)

And I think how I don’t have a place to be buried—
no plot way out in Long Island by my grandparents—
No plot nearer in Queens where my father and his parents
and his sisters are buried with only room left for my mother

What a pain for my kids at the time of grieving to
have to find some plot of dirt to dig me into—
How civilized if I am cremated and save them the
time and effort as well as cemetery trip—
lights on all the cars way out to Long Island
but the air conditioners probably off since the
cars are overheating from the ten mile an hour
funeral procession—No, perhaps a plot closer
to their apartments –but then so costly for them—

Yes, better and cheaper to be burnt up and my
ashes given to them in a tasteful urn in brown clay—
or perhaps pink enamel with little rosebuds with
daisies if they want to spring for it—
to be placed on a mantel

But whose mantel
Will my sons fight over who will get my ashes—
Will the fight be over who has to keep this depressing urn
on their mantel ( neither has a mantel)—
And how will their wives feel to have their mother-in -law
forever parked in their living room seeing the
dust or unvacuumed floors, a constant recrimination to
them—though she was never a housekeeper—

And perhaps my lover of ten years will want the urn—
After all, he is such a collector of cardboard boxes that
his VCR or an electric fan came in—
Will my ashes be fought over—
Will they third me up
So that one might have the ashes of my legs
with their slight varicose veins—or my head—
or breasts—

My younger son who kept his bottle until
he was five probably would get my breasts
No, I see my lover with these—
He always admired them—
Now he can have their ashes—
buy me a pretty black bra from Victoria’s Secret
catalogue and throw it in—take out the bra
when he yearns for me—
No, the ashes on the bra would mess up
his place and he hates all dust with a passion—

No, I see him taking my ashes –to the relief
of both my sons—and especially their wives—

I see him putting my ashes in a matching urn
that he selected so carefully for his cat Kate—
I see our twin urns on his mantel—
My fate to be there next to this cat I was so
allergic to in life—seeing some new lover of his in a jealous
fit after he tearfully tells her how much he loved
me after making love to her, this new lover
spitefully moving these two urns on the
bedroom mantel so that he is actually talking
to the cat when he remembers me—
and tenderly pats her urn and calls her Laura

Laura Boss

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One Response

  1. I cast my vote for this poem

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