For the record, I’m the one who made
all of the arrangements, and not the son
you never taught to manage these sorts
of situations. I ordered the flowers
and chose the music, gave your other
deadbeat children a place to stay this week.
I’ll be hosting the reception at my house,
and I left out all your grandchildren’s
birthday parties and soccer games you missed
when I wrote your obituary.
Last night, I dreamed I found you quiet
in the casket I picked out, with your face
a pale mess, and I panicked through my purse
before the service for lipstick and rouge
to paint you into a person vivid
and dignified for at least this one last day.
But for the record, this changes nothing,
and I resent the hundred dollars
I spent on that blue dress. Someone else
can forget your urn on their mantelpiece
once this is finally over, and that dress
and all is reduced to ash and cinders.