(This poem I started before my trip to NYC. While I certainly was influenced by the events of the day, this piece is not directly about my friend’s funeral.)
Thoughts Before the Internment
No one ever takes pictures at a funeral.
Sure, we take pictures at weddings or births
but never the very end of life.
Why would we not want to preserve this moment?
Is it really so terrible to capture the eyes soaked in grief,
the fingers wrapped around snot-soaked tissues?
For the deceased, it may be the best they’ve ever looked.
Long after the internment, we can look back on the departed
at rest, with his rosy cheeks and plump lips, flush,
as if just exiting a roller coaster ride,
the big scream captured after the denouement—
the last photo at the end of the line.
And for the mourners, when the loss shrinks to a dull ache,
we may pick up that glossy image and, for a second,
mistake our own sorrow for tears of joy.